Nigeria to save $25m from sorghum malt extract importation
By utilising sorghum malt extracts in the food and beverage sector, Nigeria will be saving over $25 million from imports of the commodity, the Raw Materials Research Development Council (RMRDC) has stated.
Director and Coordinator, RMRDC, Tokunbo Habeeb, stated that Nigeria currently spends a lot of foreign exchange on the importation of barley for brewing activities and food products in the country, which he said could be directed to other developmental projects in the country.
Habeeb during a product launch of sorghum malt extract developed and produced by Food Agro & Allied Industry Limited maintained that sorghum malt extract is the best replacement for barley which costs the nation so much resources to import.
“Malt extract is used virtually by all the major players in the food and beverage sector in the country and it is also the single largest raw material used in the breweries. So you can imagine the amount of importation barley we are doing currently in the country.
“This is a colossal amount of money and the country cannot afford to keep on spending money when we have a replacement that is of better nutritional value. Ever since this company showed their interest in producing sorghum malt extract, we have been rendering support to them and we are also using this medium to invite other leaders in the industry to support this initiative”, he added.
According to him, the company is the only company producing the highest quality sorghum malt extract, saying that it is comparable to any product of its kind anywhere in the world.
He said there is need to create awareness for this initiative in order for industries to key into and also reduce the import regime of barley malt extracts into the country.
He therefore called on all stakeholders to patronize the use of sorghum malt extracts, adding that it is a local tropical crop grown mainly in the northern part of the country.
“There is no cause for alarm in terms of the crop’s availability and price. We have to replace barley malt extracts with sorghum because it will go a long way in boosting the production of sorghum in the country,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, the Managing Director, Food, Agro and Allied Industries Limited, Sudhansu Sinha said Nigeria must change its mind set of preferring imported products over made-in-Nigeria products.
He said the company which currently produces over 100,000 tonnes of sorghum malt extracts daily can meet the demand of the country in terms of high quality sorghum production.
He however commended the council for its effort to partner the company, saying that this is the way to go for the country to achieve a rapid and virile industrial sector.
He said the company is positioned to produce high quality sorghum malt extract to help Nigeria reduce its dependence on importation of barley malt extract and also conserving its foreign exchange.
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