By FRANKLIN ALLI with Agency Report
THE World Bank, the African Development Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development have committed N51.5 billion to the development of Nigeria’s Staple Crop Processing Zones.
This was disclosed by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) in a presentation during the World Economic Forum – Africa which took place in Abuja.
UNIDO said the zones have already attracted investments totaling $350 million from different financial institutions.
A breakdown of the figure showed that the World Bank has committed over $ 100 million to develop sustainable institutions and infrastructure in the zones, while the African Development Bank has committed over $152 million to make available low interest loans to the Nigerian Government, specifically for the development of infrastructure in the staple crop processing zones.
Also the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has also pledged $70 million to build capacity of small farmers to ensure inclusiveness and equitable wealth creation in the staple crop processing zones.
In partnership with Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), UNIDO developed master plans for establishing staple crop processing zones in six geo-political regions of the country that will simultaneously address all supply-side constraints and improve Nigeria’s competitiveness in selected agro value chains.
The staple crop processing zones are a flagship programme of Nigeria’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda, which has the objective of creating wealth and employment in the agribusiness sector.