Italian investors to stake N544m in tomato production in Oyo  

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Yemisi Ajayi,Ibadan

A group of foreign investors from Italy is to invest N544 milion in the Oyo State Economy for the purpose of tomato production.

The representative of Fenco food Machinery in Africa, Mr Paolo De Sciscilo, disclosed this during a courtesy call on the traditional ruler of Lanlate towhship in Oyo State.

De Sciscilo said the tomato processing factory,which will cover a 300,000 hectares in Lanlate, would specialise in cultivation, processing and export of tomatoes, tomato paste, juice and ketchup among other tomato-based products.

According to him, the tomato factory will also contain facilities such as healthcare centres, housing for workers, schools and other associated services.

He said that the investment would create an estimated total of 2000 jobs for the people of the state in particular and Nigerian unemployed population in general.

“The demand for tomato-based products is increasing as consumers continue to  learn the health and nutritive values that tomatoes offer.

“This is a multimillion dollar investment, which will shortly commence as soon all paper work is completed.

“We hope to increase the local production of fresh tomatoes and tomato products including juice, paste and puree.

The traditional ruler of Lanlate, Oba Abdul Lateef Olagoke, who expressed his delight over the prospect of the project, said that it would be of long term benefits to the socioeconomic activities of the town and the state in general.

He called on the incoming administration of the governor-elect, Seyi Makinde, to implement strategic policies that would stimulate agribusiness.

According to him this will help attract investment into the state with a view to turning around the fortunes of the state.

In his remarks, Mr Adekunle Alliu, the Executive Director of the United States-Africa Chambers of Commerce, Industry ,Mines and Agriculture Incorporation, said the project would contribute to efforts to promote industrialization and job creation in the state.

The chairman of the Local Council Development Areas of Lýanlate, Mr. Yunus Olanrewaju , said that the project would address the storage and problems suffered by farmes each year.

“We will be glad if you could be kind enough to establish the company in Lanlate, we will be very happy and I can assure you that our people are accommodating, no problem in this area,no hooliganismý,i can’t say the peaceful environment is 100 per cent, “ he said

Olanrewaju  also assured them that their investment is guaranteed absolutely and that the community would give them maximum support in terms of lands

Also speaking at the event, the Facilitator and Manager of United States-Africa Chambers of Commerce, Industry ,Mines and Agriculture incorporation, Mr. Femi Odofin said that the project would boot the economy of the town, create employment opportunities for the teeming youth and improve the socio-economic life of the people.

“Even though I am acting as the facilitator of the project, I’m not doing so as an Indigene of Lanlate but because of the potential of the town, especially the land mass which I believe will not only accommodate the project but also serve as a boost to our economy and be a veritable source of employment oppor-tunities to our unemployed graduate and other categories of people,” he said.

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