Nigeria: AA Universal Integrated Food Processing and Agro-Industrial Cluster Feasibility Study

The Grantee invites submission of qualifications and proposal data (collectively referred to as the “Proposal”) from interested U.S. firms that are qualified on the basis of experience and capability to execute a feasibility study for the development of an integrated agriculture processing facility for cocoa and cassava in Cross River State (the “Project”) located in the Federal Republic of Nigeria (the “Host Country”). The submission deadline is July 14, 2023, at 12:00 PM ET/5:00 PM Nigeria local time with deadline for questions on June 30, 2023, 12:00PM, ET/5:00 PM WAT. The U.S. firm selected will be paid in U.S. dollars from a $712,000 grant to the Grantee from the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.

Project Background
AA Universal Agro Industries Ltd (“AA Universal”) seeks to utilize the African Development Bank’s (“AfDB”) Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (“SAPZ”) program and other initiatives to modernize agricultural processing in a cost-effective manner in order to create higher-value products for Nigerian commodities and food staples. The Project seeks to (i) add downstream cocoa derivatives (i.e., cocoa liquor, butter, and powder) to an existing cocoa processing plant and (ii) establish a cassava processing plant, primarily for high-quality cassava flour at an integrated agriculture processing facility. AA Universal’s agribusiness operations are located within a SAPZ, which is 90 percent owned by AA Universal and 10 percent by the Cross River State Government. The Federal Government of Nigeria has designated this special agro-processing zone as one of its priority zones within the Nigeria SAPZ Program. The AfDB SAPZ support will fund the development of surrounding and shared infrastructure, including access roads leading to farms, electricity, and water infrastructure.

About the Grantee
AA Universal is a Nigerian agribusiness entity that was established and registered in 2013. The company’s mission is to improve and enhance local farmers’ livelihoods by reducing post-harvest losses and connecting local agricultural producers, agribusinesses, and their products to local, regional, and international markets. Chief Christopher Agara, an industrialist with interests in agriculture, oil, and gas, is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AA Universal. He is a native of the Ikom Local Government Area in Cross River State, the location of the agricultural processing facility.

About the Study
The objectives of the Study are to define the feasibility of and plans for expanding AA Universal’s current cocoa production and processing operations and modernizing cassava production and establishing processing operations for high-value derivative cassava products. In addition to the production and processing analyses, the Study would include cluster planning and assess the necessary infrastructure required to support the entire site, not just cocoa and cassava processing. Such analysis would include the assessment of clean energy utilization, such as solar, solar plus storage, hydropower or other zero-carbon energy sources. The Study would include several tasks to determine the commercial viability of the Project including a market assessment, technical analysis, economic and financial analysis, regulatory review, and the development of a Project Implementation Plan, as well as a review of the existing environmental and social impact assessment to bring it International Finance Corporation standards.

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Nigeria: AA Universal Integrated Food Processing and Agro-Industrial Cluster Feasibility Study

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