The governor of Oyo state, Nigeria, Mr. Seyi Makinde has inaugurated the first cassava-based sorbitol factory in Africa and the second in the world.
The factory which is named, Psaltry, is sited at the famous Alayide village of the Iseyin local Government area of Oyo state and is said to have the capacity to produce at least 25 tons of Sorbitol per day, an incredible capacity compared to the only other known factory of its kind in Indonesia.
Sorbitol is a naturally occurring sweetner, synthetically extracted from glucose, used in sugar-free foods, pharmaceutical products and oral care products such as mouth fresheners and toothpastes.
While inaugurating the factory, Makinde declared that his administration is fully supportive of strides that directly improve economic activities and livelihood of citizens of the state, saying thus far, his government had attracted to the state, over N23 million in agribusiness investment apart from $25million in partners blended finance for rural roads in the state.
According to reports, the state government had earlier accepted the request by the management of the factory to inaugurate the facility.
The governor being one who is known for his interest in innovation, accepted the request and created smooth infrastructural facilities to support the growth of the factory especially as it concerns roads and connecting bridges.
Mr. Makinde also went ahead to approve the complete revamp of the area’s Eruwa Dam from which the factory could draw water. Further hinting his commitment to ease the activities of the factory, moving forward.
Speaking at the event, the wife of former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, Mrs Bola Obasanjo, stressed the need for youths to take to agriculture rather than looking for white collar jobs.
She commended the Psaltry initiative and urged government to encourage mechanised farming to greatly boost agricultural production in the country.
In her remarks, the founder, Psaltry International Company Limited, Oluyemisi Iranloye, said the factory would reduce the nation’s reliance on imports and drive agricultural industrialisation in the county.
Iranloye charged financial institutions to support entrepreneurs and give longer moratorium to such projects to prevent failure.
She also appreciated the support received from the Central Bank of Nigeria under the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme and Providus Bank, to construct the factory, stressing that with requisite funding, there is room in Nigeria for one hundred cassava processing companies.