Vice President Yemi Osinbajo SAN on behalf of President Buhari has launched the Special Agro Industrial Processing Zones, SAPZ Program in Nigeria in Abuja.
The program was organized by the Federal Government with co-financing from the African Development Bank, ADB the Islamic Development Bank, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
The VP said the SAPZ is a government-enabled and private sector led initiative that will mobilize private sector investment to develop value chains for selected crops and livestock in participating states.
”The total amount mobilized for phase 1 is $538.05m- African Development Bank, is providing $210m, IFAD together with Green Climate Fund $160m, Islamic Development Bank $150.52m, from the federal government $2.01 and $16.01m from participating states” noted the VP.
The pilot phase of the programme is expected to increase the value of commodities such as rice, cassava, and cocoa which are grown in Cross River state, beef and dairy cattle in the Federal Capital Territory, livestock in Imo state, beef and dairy, tomato, maize, and ginger from Kaduna state, rice, tomatoes, groundnuts, and sesame oil from Kano state, livestock in Kwara state, cassava, rice, poultry, and fisheries in Ogun state, cassava, soybeans, and rice from Oyo State.
For the President of the ADB, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina it was high time government at all levels funded the Special Agro Industrial Processing Zones with all seriousness.
One of the critical partners in the project, the Associate Vice-President and General Counsel for IFAD, Ms Katherine Meighan pledged support to government programmes and policies.
The President Islamic Development Bank, Dr. Muhammad Al-Jasser said Nigeria’s response to food crisis must be immediate.
Responding on behalf of the participating states, the Governor of Cross River State, Benedict Ayade called on stakeholders to ensure proper implementation of the project.
Present at the event were the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mahmood Abubakar, other government representatives, implementing partners, prospective investors, farmers, agripreneurs and diplomats, among others
Writing by Zaccheaus Babalola; Editing by Annabel Nwachukwu