The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, SAN has said that with the launch of the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone programme, Nigeria can, in less than a decade, banish food insecurity, while radically improving export earnings from agriculture, creating millions of lucrative agro-industrial jobs and opportunities for its citizens.
Osinbajo said this know when he represented the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.) on Monday at the official launch of the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones in Nigeria, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja.
According to him the launch of the SAPZ programme ushered in a better future for the agriculture sector.
“If the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones programme delivers on its objectives and we have no doubt that it will, then we would in less than a decade deal a fatal blow to food insecurity, create millions of good paying agro-industrial jobs and opportunities and radically improve export earnings from agriculture,” he said.
On the importance of the SAPZ programme to Nigeria, he noted that the programme has become a crucial element of the country’s agricultural strategy, which is to accelerate the industrialisation of agricultural sector, with the objective of being ahead of constraints in providing food, nutrition and wealth for the largest population on the continent.
He said, “The Nigeria Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones programme is a government-enabled and private sector-led initiative that aims to mobilise private sector investment to develop value chains for selected strategic crops and livestock in the participating states. Nigeria will implement the first phase of the SAPZ programme with co-financing from the African Development Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the Islamic Development Bank.”
He said the SAPZ programme was recently approved by the Federal Executive Council, and that the programme was driven by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in alignment with the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy of the Federal Government to incentivise agro-industrialisation for private sector development.