Brük Oil Mills Enugu Commences Production, Boosts Commodity Market
The commencement of full production activities at newly commissioned Brük Oil Mills Enugu, has resulted in a boost for the oil-palm kernel commodity market in south-eastern Nigeria.
Brük Oil Mills requires crude oil palm kernel for processing into bulk crude palm kernel oil, bulk palm kernel cake, and bulk palm kernel sludge industrial uses. The company’s first processing plant at Emene in Enugu, was commissioned in December 2018.
To kick off production, the company embarked on a value-chain oriented, raw materials sourcing strategy, by paying a visit to the Nsukka community market, which plays host to cottage industry commodity sellers, drawn from neighbouring states and communities in the south-eastern part of Nigeria.
Oil-Palm cultivation is more common in the southeast of Nigeria, where apart from a few large plantations, is mostly engaged in by small-holder farmers or farmers’ cooperatives.
“In December, we took to Nsukka on a “market day” excursion in an attempt to procure our first ever batch of palm kernels for crushing. In the end, we took a delivery from a plantation in Imo State,” the company tweeted.
Commodity traders in the country struggle to sell off their produce due to a dearth of processing and value-adding industries in the country, this has accounted for most post-harvest losses and dwindling rate of cultivation and investment in farming.
Brük Oil Mills owner and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Boston alumnus, Mr. Obinna Ukwuani, disclosed that seeking ideas and markets that can scale indefinitely within the Nigerian context, led him to start Brük Oil Mills.
Passionate about education and job creation for youths, many of whom are not meaningfully engaged in the country, and with no defined path towards employability, Ukwuani successfully launched a robotics summer school in Lagos from 2012 to 2014, Ukwuani is currently in the process of creating one of Africa’s first STEM-focused schools, Makers Academy. The innovation centre plans to give about 600 students access to tools like laser cutters, 3D printers, woodworking equipment and more.