FG Targets Agro-Industrial Processing Zones To Drive Investment In Agriculture

The federal government has said it would collaborate with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to promote and develop Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZS) in the country.

Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon Mustapha Baba Shehuri, who disclosed this, said the move would enable both local and foreign investors to advance the level of trade and investments in the nation’s agriculture sector.

The minister while speaking at the Ecobank Agribusiness Summit with the theme: “ Unlocking Productivity and Investment Opportunities across Nigeria’s Agribusiness Value Chain,’’ held in Lagos, yesterday, said the special agric processing zones would serve as a veritable strategy to diversify the economy.

Shehuri noted that there was the need for a viable synergy and collaboration of all the relevant stakeholders including the financial sector as well as governments at various levels and the development partners.

He further said, “Within the overall set of policy principles, the federal government is concentrating on providing an enabling environment and a level playing ground for stakeholders at all levels to enhance investment and capital flow into the agric sector.”

The minister noted that the summit also marks another milestone and traction in the journey of economic diversification in line with the vision of the Economic Recovering and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to him, “To boost agricultural production, food security, promote innovative technologies and investment in the agriculture sector in order to achieve poverty reduction and job creation, especially for our aspiring youths, we need the support of all stakeholders.”

He emphasised that Nigeria’s potentials and prospects made the agriculture sector a pivot for economic stabilisation, diversification and growth in the country, adding that the sector is a major contributor to the national gross domestic product (GDP) with about 27 per cent and the biggest in job creation in the non-oil sector.

The minister pointed out that “it is gladdening that this forum has brought together smallholder farmers, input dealers, agro-processors, development finance agencies, policy makers and the captains of industry under one roof to discuss the problems and challenges facing the agriculture sector with a view to finding solutions and way forward.’’

He reiterated that “the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, is presently providing vivid commitment to creating jobs through the on-going review of agricultural policy, focusing on technology and innovation for agricultural mechanisation, strengthening research and development, training and funding of extension services, in addition to […]

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