Business

Flour Mills boss proffers solution to high food prices

The challenge of rising food prices across the country can be overcome if more players in the agri-food system increase their investments in homegrown innovation and local production of raw materials,

The Group Managing Director of Flour Mills of Nigeria (FMN), Mr Omoboyede Olusanya, stated this while speaking at the 27th Nigeria Economic Summit, convened in Abuja by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG).

Olusanya, who brought to the front burner the need to increase the local supply of raw materials to enhance food security, explained that innovation of local raw materials further drives investments in backward integration.

He said Nigeria produces about 22 million tonnes of grains whereas the country needs 60 million tonnes annually.

He explained that FMN champions the use of local raw materials and innovation to create affordable products for Nigerians, ensuring that even as imported raw materials increase in price due to a massive gap between supply and demand, the company is able to keep prices low while maintaining quality through innovation and local supply.

Because of the cyclical nature of prices of raw materials, according to Olusanya, FMN partakes and off-takes and innovates to try and make products as affordable as possible.

To the question of whether Nigeria has been a good investment destination over the many years Flour Mills has operated in the country, Olusanya responded emphatically in the affirmative, committing to continue investing in the country based on Nigeria’s size, growing youth population, and talent pool, all of which contribute to the country’s attractiveness.

He stated that the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) expanded the scope of the Nigerian market.

According to him, the population size is an example of the prospects available, stating also that Nigeria’s size and population made it an attractive market for foreign investors as well as a possible dumping ground for products.

He said in the future, the ability of companies like FMN to compete would depend on the cost side, which explains the need for local production of raw materials, stressing that there is also a need to make farming attractive for the youth.

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