The new owners of Ilorin, Kwara State-based Bacita Sugar Company Limited, Kia Africa Group Limited, a diversified pan-African investment company, has set its eyes on producing at least 300,000 metric tonnes of sugarcane, refining an estimated 204,000 metric tonnes of the sweet commodity, and generating N46 billion revenue by 2027.
Ife Emmanuel, group manager of the company, made the disclosure while introducing the road map for the revitalisation of the newly acquired Bacita Sugar Company in Bacita town, Edu local government council area of Kwara state.
Emmanuel said the company has set a 3-phase approach to the rollout plan, noting that the first phase tagged “Resuscitation Phase”, would run from 2021 into part of 2023. The first phase, he explained, would involve the commencement of farming activities/land preparation, reviving the irrigation system, seedling-in the sugarcane, and eventual commercial sugarcane production.
He also noted that the total land under sugarcane production in the first phase is 5,000 hectares. He added that the company will simultaneously commence the installation process for the new processing mill and the refurbishing of existing equipment with necessary facilities.
“Under this phase, we will also put the structure together for the out grower scheme with a target of 5,000 farmers in this first phase,” he said.
According to the group manager, the second phase of the project, tagged, “Consolidation Phase”, will run from 2023 to 2025. He explained that the phase will consolidate the farm and the sugar refinery and continue the infrastructure development of the facility including, the processing capacity, expanding the irrigation facility and the farmland, from 5000 hectares to 13,000 hectares, and full factory setup (milling and refining).
“The target for us, at the end of this phase, is to have milled at least 176,000 metric tonnes of sugar per annum,” he explained.
Emmanuel further disclosed that the third and final phase of the project tagged, “Expansion Phase”, would run from 2025 to 2028. He explained that the phase will include scaling up operations and bringing capacity utilisation to at least 80 percent. He added that it will also entail further farmland expansion, from 13,000 hectares to 21,000 hectares, and milling up to 304,000 tonnes of sugar.
Commenting on the task ahead, he expressed optimism that the sugar production venture would by 2027, become a profitable and sustainable business with an estimated revenue of N46.7 billion from farming operations, produce an estimated 300,000 tonnes of sugarcane, refine an estimated 204,000 tonnes of sugar, have an active presence in at least 10 states in Nigeria, engage at least 20000 farmers in the community, and create at least 22,000 direct and indirect jobs.