Agricultural stakeholders on Monday declared support for creation of Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) in the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria.
The stakeholders including Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) and Bank of Industry (BOI) made the declaration at a two -day inception workshop in Abuja.
The event was organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB).
He said that it was a laudable initiative aimed at making Nigeria catch up with other African countries in terms of industrialisation.
He stressed that the initiative was long overdue, adding that “a lot of countries that are not close to Nigeria have achieved the milestone.”
“We are eager to partner with AfDB to deploy our tools and methodology to ensure agric risk management among other things.”
He said the project was a unique opportunity to scale up agricultural production in Nigeria.
According to him, Nigeria has no business importing food or exporting raw materials, adding that, “we have to take up the challenge.”
He said, “N200 billion has been disbursed to agro allied industries by the bank in the last four years.
“The bank also supports small holder farmers and 18,000 farmers including women and youths have benefitted from the bank’s assistance, ” he said.
Nigeria News Agency reports that the SAPZs is an AfDB project being implemented with support from the Federal Government, state governments and the private sector.
It aimed at establishing clusters of modular industries in different zones to take care of production from farming to processing and marketing.
The project was billed to be instituted in the six geopolitical zones of the country to boost industrialisation.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Isaac Aregbesola
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