A new cocoa processing industry, in Akure, the Ondo State capital, Johnvents Industries Limited, has said the firm will generate a lot of direct and indirect jobs for the people of the state.
The Group Managing Director, CapitalSage Holdings, the parent company of Johnvents Industries Limited, Mr John Alamu, said this at the inauguration in Akure.
He said, “It is an automated processing plant, which means that the factory will operate at 98 per cent operational efficiency at full blast. With a capacity to crush over 15,000 metric tonnes of cocoa beans annually; this is one of the biggest cocoa-processing factories in Nigeria.
“We have built into this factory a solid-fired boiler that generates steam and 33KVA electricity supply to reduce overhead costs by over 40 per cent, while also upgrading the factory from 14 pots to 16 pots to improve the efficiency of fat extraction and better processing yield.”
The Ondo State Governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), who performed the inauguration, said the would create an enabling environment for the company to thrive in the state.
“This cocoa factory is very important to us in this state. We are the largest producer of cocoa in the country. It is on record that today’s commissioning brings to about seven cocoa processing factories in Ondo State,” he added.
Akeredolu, who reiterated the commitment of his administration to boosting agriculture for the purpose of revenue and employment generation in the state, said a lot had been done to encourage the youths to go into agriculture.
“Over two million of improved cocoa seedlings have been made available to farmers in the state free of charge. The Cocoa Revolution and Management Agency is doing well.
“We are also working on 2,000 hectares of land of improved cocoa farm for young farmers. Many youths will be working.”
According to Alamu, the factory is well-positioned to positively impact the economy of Ondo State, in particular, and Nigeria as a whole, through its immense contribution to job creation.
“It is projected that this factory will create around 300 direct jobs and over 17,000 indirect jobs,” Alamu added.
He described the company as a wholly indigenous agro-business incorporated in 2016 to drive sustainable growth across the entire agricultural value chain.
“We are confident that this project will enrich and bolster the agricultural value chain in Ondo State and Nigeria by making sure that the economic benefits of producing cocoa do not stop at exporting raw cocoa beans – a trend that has robbed us of the opportunity to milk out as much value as possible from being the producers,” he said.
The Deji of Akure Kingdom, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, said the entire Akure land was delighted with the establishment of the company in his domain.