NIGERIA – The African Development Bank (AfDB), Islamic Development Bank (IDB), and the International Fund for Agricultural Development plots to grant US$ 1 billion to deliver develop Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) in 24 States of Nigeria.

Mr Stanley Nkwocha, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Communications, Office of the Vice-President, in a statement, said the President of AfDB, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, disclosed this in the United States.

Adesina was speaking at the Norman Borlaug International Dialogue, World Food Prize 2023, in Des Moines, Iowa.

This is in addition to an initial US$520 million voted by the development partners for the development of eight special agro-industrial processing zones in the country.

In a speech titled, “From Dakar to Des Moines“, Adesina said that the decision to pump such huge funds into Nigeria’s agribusiness was part of the resolve to develop Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) in 13 countries.

” We are investing heavily in the development of SAPZs to support the development of agricultural value chains, he said.

” Food processing and value addition, enabling infrastructure and logistics to promote local, regional, and international trade in food.

According to his statement, the African Development Bank Group is investing US$853 million in the development of the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones.

The bank has also mobilized additional co-financing of 661 million dollars, for a total commitment of US$1.5 billion.

“The AfDB and the International Fund for Agricultural Development provided $520 million for the development of eight special agro-industrial processing zones in Nigeria.”

” The second phase of the program aims to mobilize an additional $1 billion to deliver special agro-industrial processing zones in 24 States of Nigeria, “he expounded.

Adesina described the Norman Borlaug International Dialogue World Food Prize 2023, as a journey and narrative combining the power of science, technology, policies and politics to ensure that Africa fully unlocks its agricultural potential, and feeds itself with pride.

Nigeria targets to be self-sufficient in wheat, rice by 2027

On the sidelines of the Norman Borlaug International Dialogue, Nigeria’s Vice-President Kashim Shettima assured the gathering of investors and stakeholders in the agricultural sector that under the Tinubu administration, Nigeria seeks to be self-sufficient in wheat and rice by 2027.

Be rest assured that there will be a change in the fortunes of the Nigerian nation and by extension, the African continent in the next couple of years because Nigeria is an anchor nation, ” Shettima said.

On wheat production, Shettima said the target of Nigeria towards wheat production was to achieve 50 percent self-sufficiency in the next three cycles.

He revealed that the country eyes producing about 2.4 million tonnes of wheat grains.

And we are going to drive that process by supporting the farmers with the heat tolerant variety, agricultural extension services, fertilizer and also hope to increase the irrigation areas to 1 million hectares in the next cropping cycle.

On rice production, Shettima said the major challenge for Nigeria was the insufficiency of paddy rice.

He said that Nigeria had adequate milling capacity, adding that the country needs to produce three to four million tonnes of paddy rice to meet our requirement of about 2.5 million tonnes per annum.

” We have 75 million hectares of arable land and most of it suited for rice cultivation. ” Our target is to achieve self-sufficiency in rice latest by 2027.”