To truly change the agriculture sector into an engine of transformative growth that generates significant export revenue, local companies will need to partner and support local farmers to ease their centrifugal challenges.
Towards the diversification of the economy, the Federal Government has made it a priority to focus on agriculture and solid minerals development. The plan of the government on going back to agriculture is clear to all. Apart from our natural endowments in the sector, food remains the first need of man and no country can be regarded as great which cannot feed its citizenry.
One of the companies that has since its incorporation supported and partnered with local farmer in Nigeria to produce rich and quality products for consumers in the country and beyond is Sona Agro Allied Foods Limited. Integrated in June 2011 to manufacture and market food products, especially snack foods, Sona Agro Allied has since demonstrated its commitment to developing local content.
The Milkie Bar wafer which is available in 50g and 22g packsis an example of a locally sourced wafer. With the right amount of sweetness, Milkie Bar wafer is a premium and affordable biscuit for all.
Another example of such product is the recently launched chocolate-coated cream wafer, Duo Chocolate Wafers, into the Nigerian market. It is the first of its kind in the land.
As part of the company’s drive to grow its made-in-Nigerian biscuits portfolio, it plans to increase its production capacity 4 times above its current 2,500 tons per month.
Speaking at the launch of the wafer, Sona Group’s Group Managing Director, Mr. Ajai Musaddi, stated that the firm would achieve the feat through investment in machineries, production of innovative products and local sourcing of materials.
Mr. Musaddinoted that sourcing materials locally offered the company the opportunity to produce innovative and customer centric products that could compete favorably with foreign substitutes.
“The fact is that all our products in Sona Agro are locally sourced. Our policy is that we should be based on local ingredients, flours, chocolates and others. I will say 90 per cent of the ingredients are produced in Nigeria; we believe in local ingredients. We also believe that something local can be more cost effective and price-competitive and we can offer the consumers a good price”, he said.
According to the Managing Director of Sona Agro Allied Foods Limited, Subramanian Murugesan, the company’s heavy investment in machineries, has increased the capacity of the company to produce quality biscuits that could compete favorably with any biscuits brands in the international market.
He added that “with this highly automated plants and machineries of European make, with this high level of hygiene, Sona Agro Allied plant is able to produce products with consistent quality, which will be competing with any products from Europe and America, saving the Nigerian economy with precious foreign exchange by avoiding imports, also will gain foreign exchange by exporting these products to all West African countries and to rest of the world.”