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FG approves South-East staple crop processing zones

By The Citizen
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Two Staple Food Processing zones will be established in the South-East in line with the Agricultural Transformation Agenda  of the Federal Government.

A Director in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Uche Nwafor, made this known when he spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria in Enugu on Friday.

He said the approval for the establishment of the processing zones became necessary following government's commitment to achieve food security.

'The two sites are located at the two adjoining communities of Omor and Adani in Anambra and Enugu States, respectively.

'Because of the locations in the two adjacent communities of the two states, it will now operate as one processing zone,' Nwafor said.

He said the Federal Government had appointed the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) as the consultants for the project.

'UNIDO has been contracted to produce a master plan for the project and the consultants have embarked on missions to consult with stakeholders on the modalities of the project,' he said.

The director said the project when realised would have a multiplier effect on the agricultural potential of the South-East.

According to him, apart from the increase in staple food production, other subsidiary companies will spring up and the overall effect will be wealth creation, employment and income generation.

Nwafor said that rural infrastructure like roads would also receive boost as state governments would step-up the construction of the link roads in the affected areas and beyond.

'The Federal Government has had some discussions with its state counterparts in the zone.

'Apart from the provision of land where the project is cited, the South-East, state governments have a lot to contribute to ensure the realisation of this project.

'It is also the responsibility of the three tiers of government to resuscitate the five major irrigation projects in the zone.

'This is in order to put them to effective use with a view to encourage all-year-round farming activities. NAN