As part of efforts to boost the agricultural sector, the Enugu State Governor, Peter Mbah has announced plans to strengthen the livestock sector through the creation of Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) within the state.
Mbah made the disclosure during his address at the Veterinary Medicine Alumni Homecoming and 1st Faculty Lecture Series titled: ‘Amb Ogbonnaya Nduaka Inaugural Lecture delivered by Ejike Oji of Community Development Foundation’ at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) on Saturday.
The governor who was represented by the State Epidemiologist, Cosmas Omeh, said the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones would be established in each of the three senatorial zones of the state.
According to him, “These zones will serve as strategic hubs for poultry and other livestock production, processing, and value addition; thus, providing an enabling environment for increased productivity, technological advancements, and market access.”
He said that by establishing the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones, the government would unlock the immense potential of the poultry and livestock industry and also attract investments and promote job creation. The zones, he said, would facilitate the integration of various value chain actors, including farmers, processors, distributors, and exporters, fostering collaboration and synergy among stakeholders for mutual growth and prosperity.
Mbah said that in addition to the establishment of the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones, the government was already implementing a comprehensive package of initiatives to uplift the poultry and livestock sector.
“These include access to affordable financing, improved veterinary services, capacity-building programmes, and the promotion of research, innovation as-well-as actively working to address challenges such as disease control, market access, and development of efficient supply chains,” he said.
Furthermore, the governor urged the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and livestock experts, academics, and policy-makers to join hands with the government and work together to unlock the livestock industry as the government was committed to providing the necessary support, infrastructure, and resources to thrive in an increasingly competitive market.