FG collaborates AfDB on creating special agro-processing zones nationwide – The Federal Government, in partnership with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and other stakeholders, is set to roll out a Special-Agro Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) Programme aimed at concentrating agro-processing activities in demarcated areas.
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), who received a briefing on the status of the collaboration on plan in the State House on Friday, commended the progress so far achieved.
A statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Mr. Laolu Akande, said the plan is part of the Buhari administration’s efforts to transform agricultural productivity in the country.
According to the statement, the collaborative plan is meant to boost productivity and integrate production, processing and marketing of selected commodities.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Mohammed Nanono, and his counterpart in the Industry, Trade and Investment Ministry, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, were also at the meeting.
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Briefing Prof. Osinbajo on the progress made so far in the implementation of the programme, AfDB’s Acting Vice President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Ms. Toda Atsuko, said the bank in collaboration with other stakeholders was ready to start the first phase of the Special-Agro Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) Programme, having completed a joint appraisal mission across the 36 states with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
Prof. Osinbajo commended the efforts of all stakeholders on the project noting that “this is a very good progress that we have made and we must ensure this actually works.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Mohammed Nanono, welcomed the partnership to establish agro-processing zones across the country, noting that it would be to the benefit of farmers and the agric sector at large.
On his part, Associate Vice President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Mr. Donald Brown, who joined virtually, said the organisation would co-finance the project with the AfDB with the view to creating an important opportunity for small-holder farmers in Nigeria to improve their farm yields, enhance their income and livelihoods.
Already, IFAD is working with about 150,000 Nigerian small holder farmers.