Pet Agro Farms is to invest about N150 million in the production and processing of oil palm, cashew, soybeans and other agricultural production as part of its backward integration initiative to produce local raw materials. The agro-firm stated that the initiative had become necessary in view of forex instability in the country, adding that it would rather be targeting the foreign market to earn forex for the country. The Director of Pet Agro Farms, Ms. Rehab Danladi said the farm was working closely with the Bank of Industry for the local market production while talks are ongoing with the Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) to finance its export drive. “There is need for us to go to backward integration now, enough is enough for import. We will process and export 80 per cent while 20 per cent will be for the local market. The waste of these products from palm kernel, soya bean and others can be converted to poultry feeds”, Danladi said.
The Director disclosed that the investment would help Nigeria reclaim its position as a leading global palm oil and cashew producer. Currently, the total production of raw cashew in Nigeria is about 1.4 million metric tons annually, which is far from the country’s potentials of over 10 million tons. “The initiative will contribute to the country’s agricultural industry and provide good employment opportunities for Nigerians and ensure sustainable wealth creation through farming and education on wise investment”, noting that the firm would be buying from the farmers and would also provide hybrid seeds to help farmers scale up their productivity.