The African Development Bank (AfDB) announced that the $538 million Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone (SAPZ) would begin in 7 Nigerian states namely Cross River, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Ogun, and Oyo, and the Federal Capital Territory.
This was disclosed on Tuesday by the Director General of AfDB Nigeria, Mr Lamin Barrow at a Strategic Partners and Investors Meeting of the SAPZ in Abuja.
The project is also financed by the International Fund for Agriculture Development and the Islamic Development Bank.
What AfDB said:
Mr Barrow explained that the SAPZs will create 8 agro-industrial processing hubs, 15 Agricultural Transformation Centers, and 2,300 hectares of irrigated lands. It will also supply certified agricultural inputs and provide extension services like training and skills development.
The AfDB chief noted that of the 18 African countries with SAPZs, Nigeria is the largest in terms of operational size. He said the first phase would begin in Cross River, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Ogun and Oyo, and the Federal Capital Territory.
The five–year programme would also support the policy and institutional development for SAPZs.
- “The private sector has a critical role to play in the SAPZs, and we are pleased that several private sector firms, domestic and foreign, have expressed keen interest to be located in these zones.
- “The implementation of the SAPZs through a public-private partnership framework is therefore anchored on a clear division of labour among the actors,” Barrow said.
The Associate Vice President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Ms Katherine Meighan, said Nigeria with over 88% arable land is well positioned as a powerhouse for agro-industrialization across the continent.
What you should know about SAPZs
- The Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) is an integrated development initiative aimed at concentrating agro-processing activities within areas of high agricultural potential to boost productivity and integrate the production, processing, and marketing of selected commodities.
- Partnering with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and other stakeholders, the programme will concentrate on agro-processing activities in demarcated areas to boost productivity and integrate the production, processing, and marketing of selected commodities.
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