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Delta, UNIDO collaborate to develop agribusiness

By The Citizen

Delta State government has reached an agreement with the United Na­tions Industrial Devel­opment Organisation (UNIDO) to provide technical assistance to promote agribusiness, agro value develop­ment chain and agro processes to boost bee keeping, fishery and oil palm produc­tion in the state.

The agreement, which was reached when Dr. Em­manuel Uduaghan, gover­nor of the state, met with the leadership of UNIDO in Vienna, Austria, also covers the technological upgrading for the pro­duction of footwear and leather goods, as well as other products such as Ak­wa-Ocha fabric.

The assistance on oil palm is for processing, packaging and the creation of market linkages for palm oil processing, vegetable (bleached palm oil) and palm kernel oil while that of fisheries will address the challenges associated with production through aqua­culture and value addition via processing, preserva­tion and market linkages.

The aid on apiculture will boost bee keeping and honey production, process­ing and market linkages.

The agreement repre­sents a deepening of the collaboration between Delta State and UNIDO as there is an ongoing project focused on the establish­ment of a footwear and leather goods training and production center in Asaba, the capital of the state.

UNIDO is expected to provide capacity build­ing for the state's person­nel in micro-credit models and operations as well as provide associate expert programme. Under the human capacity develop­ment programme, the UN agency will provide pos­sibilities for prospective professionals and staff of the Delta State Ministry of Poverty Alleviation to gain valuable experience in the international environment.

The programme will give talented individuals from across Delta State the opportunity to pursue ca­reers in development with hands-on experience in multi-lateral technical co-operation at UNIDO Head­quarters in Vienna.

Uduaghan's agreement with UNIDO is a continu­ation of his programme of providing sustainable in­stitutional frameworks for small and medium scale enterprises to develop through access to cheap funds and expertise for better management of the businesses.

On Uduaghan's entou­rage to the meeting with UNIDO were Commis­sioner for Information, Chike Ogeah; Commerce and Industry counterpart, Dr. Kingsley Emu and that of Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Antonia Ashiedu. And on the UNIDO side Mr. Phippe Sholtes and Aurelia Calabro.