Tuesday, January 11,
2022 / 11:30AM /Sponsored post by Bishal Biswas/ Header Image Credit: afdb.org
Nigeria recently received funds from The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) for improving the different agro-industrial processing zones of the country. The loan was acquired by Nigeria. The fund acquired will be used to co-finance the Nigeria Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone Programme. It is expected that the loan will be helpful for improving the agricultural potential of the country and will further create more job opportunities for the citizens. It is projected that the fund will also be helpful in promoting industrialization by developing the livestock and the crop.
Where The Fund Will Be Used
The fund will be primarily used to meet the first phase of the objective which targets seven Nigerian states and the Federal Capital Territory. The focus areas for the same are Cross River, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Ogun and Oyo. The fund will focus on developing strategic crops like beef, dairy livestock, rice and cassava. The funding will also help to improve the agricultural output of the country and further promote investment and it will also be helpful in the economic development of the country. It is also predicted that it will become possible to transform the rural areas into economic hubs of the country.
Interestingly, the fund will be co-financed by other partners like Islamic Development Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development which will make the total fund a whopping amount of $538.05 million. The first phase of the project will be private sector-led with the help of the government. The commitment from the Nigerian government for the same has been praised by Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB Group President. The government will be helping the private sector by providing them land and by ensuring that all the regulations and incentives are followed.
Different governments are helping the citizens with financial growth in different ways. For instance, in India, Manipur Lottery and Lottery Sambad are conducted for providing financial assistance to its citizens. The first phase of Nigeria Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones Programmes will make it possible for the investment by the private sector to sip in the agro-industrial hub for its development. This will directly benefit 1.5 billion jobs and further, it will create 400,000 direct jobs and 1.6 million indirect jobs. Also, the project will focus on women development by ensuring 50% participation by women as it also focuses on equitable employment and economic opportunities for its citizens.
It is possible for Nigeria to hugely benefit from this project as it has several million hectares of arable land that are available. Such projects also will make it easier to gain investors for investing in the agricultural sector of the country.
Which Agricultural Crops and Livestocks WIll be Focused On?
The main focus will be on value chain commodities and it is different for different states. For instance, the focus of Cross River State is cocoa, cassava and rice, beef and dairy livestock for the Federal Capital Territory. Tomato, maize and ginger will be the primary focus for Kaduna and rice, tomato, groundnuts and sesame oil for Kano. For Oyo, the primary focus will be cassava, soybean and rice and for Ogun, it will be cassava, rice, fisheries and poultry.
What Are Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones?
Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones of AfDB is a part of the Feed Africa Strategy of the bank. The bank plans to establish such zones in 18 countries of Africa which also includes Nigeria. The states selected for the first phase of the programme were selected on the basis of readiness criteria and further while selecting the states, it was ensured that the geographical balance within the country of the six geo-political zones was maintained. The zones are created with the aim of concentrating production, processing, storage, transport and will further include marketing of such commodities to reduce the logistic costs and to improve productivity.
The primary idea behind creating this zone is to revive the peri-urban economies and create jobs for all. While taking into consideration gender politics, the fund also includes a $2 million budget to implement the gender action plan. The gender action plan will be used to create guidelines that are gender-sensitive, workshops for women cooperatives and training for the women.
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