Written by Godfrey AKON

FG to establish agro-allied industry nationwide

The Federal Government says it has concluded plans to establish an Agro-allied industry in each senatorial district in the country as part of effort to sustain food security and economic growth.

Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Katagum disclosed this during a meeting with a delegation from the Amana Farmers and Grains Suppliers Association of Nigeria, AFGSAN, led by its Chairman, Haruna Ahmad Pambeguwa in in Abuja.

Katagum said government is very much interested in growing the economy, looking at other areas like cotton, textile, garment, grains, tomatoes, we need to add value, a statement by the Assistant Director of Press at the ministry, Mrs Oluwakemi Ogunmakinwa, said.

“Mr. President has directed that in every senatorial district, we should establish an Agro allied industry and we know some industries exist but you can assist us in identifying the Agro allied industries that will be suited for you,” she said.

Speaking on the ongoing border closure, the minister said it was a lesson and a blessing to the country, stating that the closure shows that we can produce what we need to eat and even export.

She however appealed to Nigerians to learn the critical lessons and not go back, adding “let us continue with farming even if we found oil in any part of the country.”

The minister informed the delegation that value addition and certification of the food produced were very germane in order to generate additional revenue as well as meet with international standard for export.

She stressed the need for the association to register with   Nigeria Export Processing Council, NEPC, Standard Organization of Nigeria, SON, as well as the Commodity and Export Department in the Ministry and other relevant agencies for necessary technical assistance.

Earlier in his address, the Chairman of AFGSAN, Pambeguwa, said the delegation was in the Ministry to congratulate the minister on her well-deserved appointment and to seek for ministry’s support in order to compete globally with their products.

Pambeguwa said the association has national spread in 36 States of the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, with massive investments in agro- allied business in various agricultural produce, adding that, “We have those who can export their commodities. We are seeking for your support and license so that we can compete globally”.

He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his good leadership style, saying that, the ban on importation of rice had provided food security and created more jobs for the youth, “Because of his style of leadership in Nigeria we are fully satisfied with good policy on ban on import. We don’t want any import, we want to export our products”, he stated.

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