BUA Group of Nigeria, have signed an agreement with Netafim of Israel, an Israeli manufacturer of irrigation equipment, to develop the largest ever fully automated drip sugarcane irrigation project. This agreement signing which took place at the Nigeria Sugar Development Council, Abuja, the project will cover over 4,000 hectares in its first phase.
Under the agreement, the two firms will collaborate in developing what they describe as “West Africa’s most advanced and largest drip irrigation system” at the 20,000 hectares BUA Lasuco Sugar Plantation.
Group Executive Director, BUA Group and Chairman of the Nigeria Sugar Institute, Kabiru Rabiu, speaking at the ceremony, “Since we started this project, we have not relented in putting together the most sophisticated sugar plantation project in Nigeria till date. In addition to milling and refining of sugar, we are also investing in ethanol production and power generation from bagasse”
This signing, will see BUA improve irrigation at its 20,000-hectare at Lafiagi by using Artificial Intelligence and highly sophisticated irrigation and mapping technology from Netafim to determine the irrigation and water application needs of different areas and soil types in the plantation.
Kabiru Rabiu stated, “As at today, construction of the sugar mill at the plantation has started. Upon completion, this Lafiagi sugar plantation will be able to produce over 1.8 million tons of sugarcane yielding about 250,000 tons of white refined sugar, 25 million litres of ethanol, employ over 10,000 people and generate some 35 MW of electricity every year.
He continuously stated “We are also creating an ecosystem where we are involved in the entire value chain whilst partnering with out-growers and the Lafiagi community as a whole”
In the part of The Executive Secretary of the Sugar Council, Lateef Busari, commended BUA for embarking on the project, that the council would continue to provide support to assist sugar producers ort to assist sugar producers meet their sugar BIP targets.