Plateau, BlackPace Sign $65m MOU To Increase Potato Production

Olusegun Paul Andrew, executive chairman BlackPace Africa
L-R: Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong with Olusegun Paul Andrew, executive chairman BlackPace Africa

BlackPace Africa, an Africa focused investment management and advisory firm and the Plateau State Government have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) towards a joint development arrangement to upscale potato production in Plateau State and set up a Potato processing facility in Jos, Plateau. The facility will produce French fries, potato flakes and potato crisps within the next eight months.

This agreement was executed on the 24 July 2017, after several meetings with the state executives, including the Governor of Plateau State, governor Simon Lalong, the Commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development, Lynda Barau, and the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Ezekiel Daju.

The Plateau State joint project with BlackPace Africa on the potato value chain in Nigeria is supported by leading global institutions including KfW Ipex Bank, EKN of Sweden, Elof Hansson International AB, Rosenqvists Food Technologies AB and Afrexim Bank. The processing facility which will be of world-class state of the art standard, processing 60,000 tons annually of Irish potatoes into French fries, flakes and crisps. This will provide a boost to the economy of Plateau state and increase jobs creation for the economy.

Potato production in Plateau State currently accounts for up to 90% of potato production in Nigeria. According to the Governor of Plateau state “Plateau State is keen to increase its potato production and its value chain to further create more jobs and boost its economy”. The current economic situation in Nigeria calls for a complete shift of focus to Agriculture. Our potato project will attract an additional $1billion dollars to the Plateau state economy in 5 years by increasing the potato output to 2million tons of high quality potatoes and processing potatoes into French fries, potato flakes and crisps.

Olusegun Paul Andrew, EC BlackPace Africa stated that: “We are pleased to advance this project with the Plateau State government and would sincerely thank His Excellency Governor Simon Lalong for his foresight and strong determination to improve on the local economy of Plateau state with this project. Our potato project will certainly create close to 3,000 jobs whilst working with out-growers and will also create 300 immediate jobs once the processing facility resumes operation.”