Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina says that the Federal Government has embarked on the development of Stable Crop Processing Zones (SCPZs) to add about N1.4 trillion to the Nigerian’s economy and create up to 250,000 jobs. He made this known on Thursday, January 16, in Abuja at the launch of the SCPZs, which he said would reduce the cost of doing business for agro-processors and ensure their competitiveness while creating a ready market for farmers through reduction of post-harvest losses.
According to him, the main objective of the SCPZs is to facilitate agro-processing environments that will be used to attract private sector investments into the local production and processing of Nigeria agricultural produce, with the primary goal of substituting import and adding value to local agricultural produce to serve the vast and growing local market.
Adesina noted that working in partnership with states and local governments and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), development master plans for the SCPZs have been prepared and will be presented to stakeholders in six priority states with potential SCPZ sites such as Kogi, Lagos, Kano, Anambra/Enugu and Niger over the next several months. he added that 14 SCPZs will be set up across Nigeria, for rice, sorghum and other grains, cassava, fisheries, horticulture and livestock.
The minister said SCPZs will ease the cost of doing business by the private sector to move into rural areas, create employment for thousands of Nigerian youths and reverse rural-urban migration by attracting them to the centres of excellence where they can dream once again of a better Nigeria, full of hope, jobs and wealth creation opportunity. Also speaking at the event, Governor of Kogi State, Idris Wada, stated that his government was ready to provide necessary support towards the SCPZs.