FG To Establish Staple Crop Processing Zones -Adesina

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The Federal Government will soon
establish staple crop processing zones in some parts of the country, the
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina,said on
Tuesday.

Adesina said this on Tuesday in Abuja at a meeting with
private sector partners in the agriculture value chain convened to garner
support for the Federal Government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA).

Our correspondent
reports that the meeting was facilitated by the ministry, the Nigerian
Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the United Nations Development Programme
(UNDP).

The minister explained that the idea was to enable processors
to establish their processing plants in areas where food production was high.

He gave an assurance that the Federal Government would prioritise
basic infrastructure in these zones.

“It is the duty of the government to provide all the basic
amenities in these zones. We have identified these zones and we know what is
needed to make things work,” he said.

Adesina urged the private sector to set up an advocacy group
that would liaise with the government in terms of policy making.

He told them to focus on fiscal policy that would encourage
local food production, saying that the private sector was crucial to the
success of the transformation agenda.

He promised to always interact with the private sector to
ensure that agriculture was restored as the mainstay of the country’s economy.

‘’All the reforms being made by the Federal Government are
geared toward wealth creation and job creation; that is why we need the private
sector in all we are doing.

“Unless governments’ change their approach to the private
sector, we can’t create wealth or jobs, ’’ he said, stressing that there was
the need to do a thorough structural job of the private sector.

The minister urged the private sector to work closely with
the farmers’ associations across the country.

Earlier, Mr Emmanuel Ijewere, the Chairman of NESG, stressed
that the ministry needed a reliable private sector to run ATA.

According to him, some Federal Government’s agricultural
policies in the past did not work due to the lack of communication with the
with the private sector.