The African Development Bank, has stated the implementation of phase two of the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones is expected to bring about significant changes in agricultural practises, leading to a transformation of Nigeria’s economy from a predominantly agrarian one to an industrial society centred around agribusiness.
According to The PUNCH, the AfDB in a press statement stated that the institution has announced its intention to commence a workshop scheduled to take place from the 6th to the 7th of September, 2023.
The genesis workshop was identified as the initial event in a sequence of ongoing stakeholder interactions conducted by the bank. The purpose of these engagements is to gather input and align diverse interests in anticipation of the launch of the second phase of the SAPZ Programme in Nigeria.
As per the announcement, a total of 20 states have submitted an Expression of Interest, indicating their intention to participate in the hosting, assessment, and potential onboarding process.
It read, “As the flagship programme of the African Development Bank’s Feed Africa Strategy, the Nigeria SAPZ Program targets the twin objectives of food self-sufficiency, exports of processed raw agricultural commodities leading to job creation and overall economic growth. The strategy is to target agro-processing activities in areas with high agricultural potential.
“These zones, an agglomeration model, will bring farmers (including livestock keepers), agricultural producers, processors, aggregators and distributors to work together in one location, lowering transaction costs and sharing business development services to boost productivity and competitiveness.”
The Director-General of AfDB Nigeria Country Department, Lamin Barow, said, “In order to kickstart the process for the eventual take-off of phase II of the SAPZ programme in Nigeria, the bank will hold a 2-day Inception Workshop on 6-7 September 2023, and a high-level stakeholders’ meeting with some state governors on 8 September 2023.
“These will bring together the Federal and state government representatives, development partners, and private sector players to identify and determine commodities and high-potential value chains, sites and locations, state government readiness, private sector interest and other key enabling factors.”