SINGAPORE — Olam International announced on April 8 that it is investing $150 million to set up two state-of-the-art animal feed mills, poultry breeding farms and a hatchery to produce day-old-chicks in Nigeria.

Olam said the project will be Nigeria’s largest integrated animal feed mill, breeding farm and hatchery.

Several officials attended the groundbreaking ceremony in Kaduna State including Governor of Kaduna State, H.E. Malam Nasir el-Rufai andMinister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, who represented Nigerian President H.E. Muhammadu Buhari.

“This is the latest investment by Olam in Nigeria’s domestic food and agricultural production sector after our recent investments in wheat milling assets and the ongoing development of our 10,000-hectare rice farm and mill in Nasarawa State,” said Venkataramani Srivathsan, Olam’s chief executive officer for Africa. “This new venture into animal feed is a win-win for Olam and Nigeria. Domestically produced meat is being hampered by a lack of good quality feed, support for farmers and availability of young stock, but consumption is set to increase. By investing in poultry and fish feed, we can utilize the wheat bran from our wheat milling operations, as well as maximize our sourcing networks to buy corn and soy from local farmers. Our investment in the hatchery will help boost poultry production and, in the long run, help reduce the country’s reliance on imports. This development underlines the continued confidence we share in Nigeria’s ambition for self-sufficiency.”

Of the $150 million in total investments, approximately $100 million has been committed to building and operating the facilities in Kaduna State while $50 million is for a second investment in an integrated poultry and fish feed mill located in Kwara State.

At full capacity, both feed mills are expected to produce in excess of 600,000 tonnes per year of high-quality poultry and fish feed, with the Kaduna facility supplying mainly to the northern markets and the Kwara facility to the southwest region. The poultry breeding farm in Kaduna is expected to produce over 1 million hatching eggs every week for the hatchery.

The feed mills will procure most of their corn and soybean requirements locally, spurring growth of these domestic crops. Olam will create over 100,000 tonnes of in-house storage capacity, which will also help support food security.

Olam will therefore contribute to the development of the Nigerian poultry and aquaculture sectors by providing not only competitively priced feed and chicks, but also technical support to local poultry farmers, the company said. The increased productivity and returns is expected to stimulate rural self-employment opportunities, particularly for young people.

The company is developing community partnerships by working with the Kaduna State government to develop a model for supplying eggs and chicken for its school meals program at below-market prices, the company said.