Anambra State and ABX World, in alliance with Arik Air and Skyway Aviation Handling Company have signed a deal to start exporting agro-allied produce worth $5.2 billion to European countries.
According to Anambra State Commissioner for Africa, the government’s priority for agricultural development was to eliminate poverty, enhance job creation, and improve the internally generated revenue(IGR) of the state.
“As a people oriented administration, Governor Obiano has always sought for ways to create security, create good road network, create night life; these are things that will get people involved, bring in investors and promote tourism. Now, the agro-allied export is another testament to the state government’s unrelenting efforts to ensure Anambra State farmers do not lack market to sell their products.
“It is very imperative to note that before commencing the exports, the farmers through their cooperative societies received training and certification. In other words, we are confident that these produce like pumpkin leaf (Ugu), and others will meet the market standard. As a government we are happy about this new development which we are thankful to other facilitators like ABX World,” the Commissioner said.
ABX World is an EU certified (EUC) cargo agent, and Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) “Authorised Cargo Agent”. The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Captain John Okapku, said the commencement of tis deal will generate jobs, eliminate poverty and restore investors confidence in the state.
Here is what the MD/CEO of ABX World had to say on the agreement;
“When we entered into agreement with them, we discovered that they have gone very far. For instance, the State has over 1400 corporative societies and they have gone to the extent of training most of the farmers and also the certification of the corporative societies.
“The next step was the geo-mapping of the area for easy identification of the farmlands from any part of the world. This is a sure step to curb the incessant rejection of agro-allied produce from Nigeria at the European and the rest of the world markets.
“The EU certified trainers were in Nigeria about three months ago. So, after that training and certification programme, the participants are guaranteed of three years contract to supply agro-allied produce to Europe and can use it for the rest part of the world.
“This is the real capacity building we are talking about. There is no other better way to fight poverty and encourage farmers than to provide markets for them.”
Ugu “pumpkin” leaf tops the list of about 75 items that will be exported from Nigeria to Europe and the rest of the world.
This deal comes at a right time, as states in the country have been battling to diversify their revenue base amid the fallen oil prices which has seen revenues from the federation account reduced.
THISDAY originally reported this article