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May 27, 2024

Food Security: Bauchi Organises Stakeholders’ Scoping Workshop on SAPZ Phase II Project

The Bauchi State Government through the State Ministry of Agriculture has commenced engagement with stakeholders on the Proposed Bauchi State Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone (SAPZ), Phase II project that aims to revolutionize agricultural practices, enhance food security, promote exports of processed agricultural produce as well as create employment, ultimately driving economic development in the state.

In his address at the event, the state Commissioner of Agriculture, Professor Simon Madugu Yalams noted that SAPZ is one of the projects introduced by the African Development Bank (AfDB). 

He explained that the workshop was being held to raise awareness of the SAPZ programme as well as to enhance the understanding of the role of stakeholders involved in the implementation process.

The workshop was held at Bauchi State Agricultural Development Project (BSADP) office.

Professor Yalams who was represented by the Special Adviser to the state governor on Agriculture, Iliyasu Aliyu Gital said: “The purpose of the Workshop today is to sensitize the stakeholders, the farmers, communities that are going to benefit to know that the project is coming. The Workshop will also give the participants the opportunity to know what is expected of them and their environment, particularly at this time when the project is taking into consideration, environmental assessment.

“We want to assess the negative impact the project is going to cause to the environment. What are the environmental issues that may arise? we will discuss them; if there is any other problem with the project, we will know how to mitigate them.”

“If there is anything that may pose as a challenge to communities in the future, we will bring it up today so that we can trash it. As a result of this project, things are going to happen, but we have also devised a way of mitigating them,” he added.

Aliyu Gital also disclosed that Bauchi state is among the two states selected from the six Northeast states that will work together with the consultant to ensure that all the requirements of the project are met.

In his statement, the minister of environment, Balarabe Abbas Lawal, stressed that the special agro-industrial processing project would be implemented through a public-private partnership framework. The public sector will create an enabling environment while the private sector drives the program.

Represented by the Director Environmental Impact Assessment, Mr A.B Minna, the minister stated that the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) project will enhance food and job security, as well as increase the contribution of the sector to the GDP.

He explained that the project aims to diversify Nigeria’s economy by making agriculture a more profitable business, adding that the government is committed to prioritizing agriculture and food security through initiatives such as the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) project. 

The Minister called on all stakeholders to work together for the successful implementation of the program in Bauchi state. He lauded Governor Bala Mohammed and the Ministry of Agriculture for their commitment and support for the project.

He stated that with support from the African Development Bank, Bauchi state will be empowered with resources to create a safer and more favourable environment for the citizens. This will help to attract investments and ensure long-term economic growth within the state.

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