Two American-based organizations, First ForsterCare Foundation, a non-governmental agency, and Sotace Global Technologies and Energy Resources, LLC are partnering to establish agro-cells In Nigeria that could create up to 50million jobs when fully operational. Leaders of both organizations, Okey Okafor, CEO of Sotace Global Technologies and Angela Moneke, Vice President of First FosterCare Foundation said their “plan is to meet or exceed the goals for the Community Social Development Project, which was the Nigerian government’s strategy for poverty reduction.” According to Okafor, “an Agro- Cell is a node in our overall Agro- Cell Network concept. Each Agro- Cell is a planned, developed and engineered community based on principles of applied sustainability.
“The Agro-Cell is a fixed-sized development. Each Agro-Cell will be designed and equipped for 5,000 people including adults and children,” he added. Also the VP of First ForsterCare Foundation Angela Moneke explained that “the reason for this is so the assets and services can be designed accordingly. Of the 5,000, about 10%, or 500, will be the professional, technical and skilled service and care providers that will train, manage the other residents. “In addition to housing and jobs, each Agro-Cell will be a fullyequipped town that contains all of the social resources, assets and livelihoods needed to make vulnerable groups and individuals loved and secure. Our FFCF goal is to make each Agro-Cell a place that can be called ‘my home’ or ‘my village,’ “she added. According to partnering organizations, “Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of cassava, but Malaysia is the largest exporter. With our vision, that will change.
Other key cash crops we would like to export are yams, groundnuts, cashews, cocoa, coffee, natural rubber, oil palm, palm kernel, etc. Anything Nigeria has a competitive advantage growing will be our focus. “The entire cassava plant can be exploited by Nigerians to create revenue streams through the export of cassava-based SME Loan Guarantee Scheme (SGS) and SME Financing Guarantee Scheme (SFGs) for the food industry, the glucose industry, composite flours, animal feed, fermented products, and non-food uses.
“The food industry uses cassava as a cooked starch food, thickener, filler, binder and stabilizer for: bakery products; canned fruits, jams and preserves; confectioneries; MSG; and commercial caramel. The leaves, high in protein, are detoxified and frozen. The glucose industry uses cassava for starch hydrolysis, glucose syrup, and dextrose. Non-food uses include adhesives, dextrin, making paper and corrugated cardboard, particle board (stalks),” they stated.
They added that “our approach to sustainability was modeled to the Agro-Cell as an industrial ecosystem, which treats all of the energy and material processes as a network that extract resources and then transforms them into commodities that can be bought and sold. Instead of looking at process wastes and by-products typically handled as refuse or disposal items, the Agro- Cell reuses them as raw materials for other revenue-creating, costsaving or value-added processes.”