…Gov Abdulrazaq Expresses Joy
By Wole Adedeji, Ilorin
A cashew nut plant owned by Annie Gildden Commodities, AG, Nigeria Limited has been established in Kwara State and the state governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq is excited about it.
Cashew farming had of recent become the major occupation of the indigent people of the Southern part of Kwara, a departure from the traditional cocoa farming as sojourners in the forest belt of Ile Ife/Ondo axis of Osun and Ondo states.
While on a visit to the company at Eiyenkorin in Asa Local Government Area of the state, Mallam AbdulRazaq said his administration was committed to making the business climate more friendly for investments in the state.
He expressed joy at the establishment of a the multi-million naira cashew processing factory, saying that the agenda of his government among others was to make Kwara a hub for cashew nuts processing in Nigeria.
The governor said, “My coming here is to encourage local investments. As you know, Kwara is a major producer of cashew nuts, and Nigeria is putting more interests in cashew processing.
“So it is a good thing to have a local production and make sure we export processed cashew nuts, rather than raw cashew nuts. So this investment is a major one. I think this is about the third major cashew company in the state.”
Mallam AbdulRazaq averred that it is logical and will be more lucrative to have the cashew nuts processed locally for export than to ferry out the raw nuts, adding that his administration would will leave no stone unturned to encourage all cashew processing companies in the state to thrive.
AbdulRazaq acknowledged the commitment of AG Commodities Nigeria Limuted to grow the local economy through its investment, and congratulated them on the start of operation, saying the administration is open for partnership.
The governor added, “Our vision is to have Kwara as the leading processor of cashew in Nigeria. So this is another step to come here and look at their investment and encourage the company, and to also see how the state can partner with the company to scale up the processes.” L
Managing Director of AG Commodities Nigeria Limited, Ademola Adesokan, while speaking, said that the company was located in Kwara State because of its strategic location in the cashew belt, its good road network, as well as the business-friendly policies of the government.
He said that at least 120 Kwarans have been engaged in the company for manual handling of the cashew nuts daily.
Adesokan added, “With the road network, we feel like Kwara State is a very strategic position to site our company. It is in the middle of Kogi, Ogbomoso, and Kwara region. You can see we are on Ogbomoso road, which is a very strategic place and good for our business. So we are happy to be here and we thank the governor for this visit.
“It is very manual intensive. Even after we must have processed with our automated processing machines, we still have to deal with about 25 percent of the cashew nuts manually. Every single cashew nut has to be held by hand. A lot of the time we have 120 to 130 working here everyday.
“We have ready-made markets in the US and UK. We also have a local line that will be in stock very shortly.”
He added that the governor had said that Kwara would focus on agro-processing as a strategic roadmap to economic growth and prosperity, adding that the government itself had approved the establishment of a shea butter processing firm in Kaiama Local Government Area in the Northern part of the state.