By Miriam Humbe
The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Yalwaji Katagum has disclosed that the Federal Government plans to establish an Agro allied industry in each senatorial district in the country.
The Minister disclosed this during a meeting with a delegation from the Amana Farmers and Grains Suppliers Association of Nigeria (AFGSAN) led by its Chairman, Haruna Ahmad Pambeguwa in her Office in Abuja.
She stated “Government is very much interested in growing the economy, looking at other areas like cotton, textile, garment, grains, tomatoes, we need to add value. Mr. President has directed that in every senatorial district, we should establish an Agro allied industry and we know some industries exist but you can assist us in identifying the Agro allied industries that will be suited for you”.
Amb. Katagum stated that border closure is a lesson and a blessing to the country, stating that “It shows that we can produce what we need to eat and even export, my appeal is that there are critical lessons we learnt let us not go back, let us continue with farming even if we found oil in any part of the country”. She added.
The Minister informed the delegation that value addition and certification of the food produce were very germane in order to generate additional revenue as well as meet with international standard for export, stressing the need for the association to register with Nigeria Export Processing Council (NEPC), Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) as well as the Commodity and Export Department in the Ministry and other relevant agencies for necessary technical assistance.
In his address, Chairman of Amana Farmers and Grains Suppliers Association of Nigeria (AFGSAN) who led the delegation, Haruna Ahmad Pambeguwa said the delegation was in the ministry to congratulate the Minister on her well-deserved appointment and to seek the ministry’s support in order to compete globally with their products.
The Chairman said the association has national spread in 36 States of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja with massive investments in agro- allied business in various agricultural produce, adding that, “We have those who can export their commodities, we are seeking for your support and license so that we can compete globally”.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his good leadership style, saying that, the ban on importation of rice had provided food security and created more jobs for the youth, “Because of his style of leadership in Nigeria we are fully satisfied with good policy on ban on import. We don’t want any import, we want to export our products”, he stated.
The Director of Commodity and Export Department in the Ministry, Mr. Napoleon Abalaka said the Ministry had embarked on Global Gap Training (GGT), three to four years ago as a result of ban in some of the Nigeria’s food produce, stating that, the Global Gap Certification Firm, an international capacity building body was to train and certify every commodity that was being exported.