Nigeria’s private sector poised to invest $4billion in the food sector
Nigeria’s private sector is poised to invest close to $4 billion in local food production.
Private sector practitioners executed letters of intent recently. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina revealed this at the launch of Staple Crop Processing Zones (SCPZ) organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMA&RD) in partnership with the Kogi State Government, in Kogi.
The Minister also revealed that additional 15 million metric tons of food has been added to the domestic food supply, which is 77 per cent of the targeted 20 million mt to be produced by 2015.
Speaking on the Staple Crops Processing Zones (SCPZ), the minister averred that the Kogi state project will generate about N14.5 billion in the state. Food production will increase to about 62, 000 mt of starch and 45, 000 mt of sweeteners. The multiplier effect will lead to creation of about 8,000 jobs.
The project when replicated in 14 locations in the country is expected to generate N1.4 trillion. The Minister said, “We cannot continue to import food. It does not matter how your neighbour loves you, you have to feed yourself”.
“We have to process cassava into starch. That is why we are here. This project will create 62, 000 mt of starch and 42, 000 mt of sweeteners to replace sugar. So we are expecting N14.5b as our target from the project. There are 14 of this project in the country. We should expect between N666 billion and N1.4 trillion from them.”
The Minister also identified power supply, poor/inadequate infrastructure, security of access to raw materials as some of the challenges affecting private sector participation in the agric sector, saying the infrastructure would be provided by government to encourage private and public investors in the zones.
In his remarks, the Kogi State Governor, Idris Wada attributed the execution of the project to partnerships between the Federal Government, State, local government council as well as traditional rulers. The governor said about 200, 000 hectares of cassava cuttings have been planted and compensation would be given to traditional rulers whose land were used.
“As they complete economic and impact study, we will come up with adequate arrangement, where compensation would be made,” he said.
All the participating farmers were encouraged to take ownership of the project.
The Vice Chairman, Cargill, Mr. Emery Koenig described the project as a catalyst to usher development to the State and boost the nation’s economy.