BUA Group and Netafim of Isreal have signed an agreement for the largest ever fully automated drip irrigation project for the BUA Lasuco Sugar Company, Lafiagi, Kwara State, Nigeria. This agreement signing which took place at the Nigeria Sugar Development Council, Abuja, will cover over 4,000hectares in its first phase.
Speaking at the ceremony. Group Executive Director, BUA Group and Chairman of the Nigeria Sugar Institute, Kabiru Rabiu, restated BUA’s committed to meeting and exceeding its BIP targets with the Sugar Council.
“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”, he added.
This signing, according to Rabiu, will see BUA improve irrigation at its 20,000-hectare Lafiagi Sugar plantation 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.
“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, 20 million litres of ethanol, employ over 10,000 people and generate some 35 MW of electricity every year.
“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”, Rabiu added.
On his part, the Executive Secretary of the Sugar Council, Lateef Busari commended BUA for embarking on the project at such a scale.He said the council would continue to provide support where necessary to assist sugar producers to meet their sugar BIP targets.BUA’s LASUCO Sugar Company, Lafiagi is a 20,000-hectare sugar plantation on the banks of the River Niger in Kwara State, North-Central Nigeria.