By Mohammed Kandi
The Kenyan agribusiness community has been invited to take advantage of the 14 Staple Crops Processing Zones being developed in Nigeria as one of the strategies to enter into joint ventures with their Nigerian counterparts.
The goal is to realize their national policies of leveraging on agriculture to grow their economies and create wealth for their peoples.
Addressing the summit of the Nigeria-Kenya Business Forum recently in Abuja, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akin Adesina, made the call during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU.
In a statement by Director Information and Protocol in the ministry, Tony Ohaeri, Dr. Adesina disclosed that the Federal Government has provided over $300 million, which is being further supported by a $5 billion facility at the Central Bank of Nigeria to enable Nigerian and foreign investors access financing to invest in agriculture and crop processing.
The minister stated that under the Federal Government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda launched in 2011, Nigeria adopted agriculture as deliberate point of intervention primarily to mitigate the unsustainably high level of food import.
He added that the country had the capacity to be self-sufficient in food production as well as export and thereby create millions of jobs and wealth. This, he said, informed the idea of using the private sector to lead the process of investing massively in agriculture and building export processing zones and agro-industrial towns all over the country.
Dr. Adesina stated that given Kenya’s global leadership position in horticulture and her leading position in agriculture in the East African region, the facilities being availed investors in Nigeria put agribusiness investors to grow their businesses in Nigeria. He said when fully in place, the staple crop process zones will add between $4 to 9 billion to the Nigerian economy.