The Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone (SAPZ) will promote agricultural revolution, enhance all year-round food production and rehabilitate distress Dams in Kano state.
While speaking at the start up workshop of the project in Kano on Monday, National Program Coordinator of SAPZ, Dr. Kabiru Yusuf stated that the project was designed to help smallholder farmers upscale all value chains, from production to processing.
The agro-Industrialization scheme is also committing over US$131 million to accelerate private sector investment in value added agro processing, and creation of new irrigation channels to enable food security.
Dr. Yusuf elaborated that the SAPZ projected to reduce farmer’s transaction cost and support them to ensure domestication of processing in Nigeria while reducing export agriculture commodities out of the country.
According to him, the start up workshop to be held in Kano is meant to share knowledge and understand SAPZ design framework with a focus on FGN and IFAD components.
The engagement, he added, will keep participants a read of the guidelines and requirements around the implementation.
“The overall development objective of the SAPZ program hinged on high food production areas to supply the domestic food market and create exportable surpluses. Also, the project intended to build the capacity of smallholder farmers, small agro-processors, traders, and community based service providers.
“This opportunity met for youth, women and people with special needs, will enhance their income, household food security and resilience to climate change. The initiative will enable nutritional and environmental sustainability,” he said.
In his own remarks, a director from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Mr Babatunde Adebayo, representing the Coordinating Minister of Finance and National Economy, Mr. Wale Edun has said the ministry is ready for full implementation of SAPZ program across the benefiting states.
While explaining that the initiative was part of the Federal government drive to grow the economy, improve food security and reduce poverty, the Minister reminded the participating states of their counterpart commitment towards funding the project.
Meanwhile, IFAD Country director, Mrs. Dede Ahoefa Ekoue said her international organization is committed to funding the project along with other foreign partners to support the Federal government to drive its policies on food sufficiency in the country.
She then expressed hope on the assurance that participating states would adhere to the model of financing and other agreements that ensure smooth implementation of the food program, targeted to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).