The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Yalwaji Katagum has disclosed that the Federal Government in its effort to sustain food security and economic growth has concluded plan to establish an Agro allied industry in each senatorial district in the country.
The Minister disclosed this during a meeting with a delegation from the Amana Farmers and Grains Suppliers Association of Nigeria (AFGSAN) led by its Chairman, Haruna AhmadPambeguwa in her Office in Abuja.
The Minister stated “Government is very much interested in growing the economy, looking at other areas like cotton, textile, garment, grains, tomatoes, we need to add value. Mr. President has directed that in every senatorial district, we should establish an Agro allied industry and we know some industries exist but you can assist us in identifying the Agro allied industries that will be suited for you”.
Amb. Katagum stated that border closure is a lesson and a blessing to the country, stating that “It shows that we can produce what we need to eat and even export, my appeal is that there are critical lessons we learnt let us not go back, let us continue with farming even if we found oil in any part of the country”. She added.
The Minister informed the delegation that value addition and certification of the food produce were very germane in order to generate additional revenue as well as meet with international standard for export, stressing the need for the association to register with Nigeria Export Processing Council (NEPC), Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) as well as the Commodity and Export Department in the Ministry and other relevant agencies for necessary technical assistance.
Earlier in his address, the Chairman of Amana Farmers and Grains Suppliers Association of Nigeria (AFGSAN) who led the delegation, Haruna Ahmad Pambeguwa said the delegation was in the Ministry to congratulate the Minister on her well-deserved appointment and to seek for Ministry’s support in order to compete globally with their products.
The Chairman said the association has national spread in 36 States of the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja., with massive investments in agro- allied business in various agricultural produce, adding that, “We have those who can export their commodities, we are seeking for your support and license so that we can compete globally”.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his good leadership style, saying that,the ban on importation ofrice had provided food security and created more jobs for the youth, “Because of his style of leadership in Nigeria we are fully satisfied with good policy on ban on import. We don’t want any import, we want to export our products”, he stated.
The Director of Commodity and Export Department in the Ministry, Mr. Napoleon Abalaka said the Ministry had embarked on Global Gap Training (GGT), three to four years ago as a result of ban in some of the Nigeria’s food produce, stating that, the Global Gap Certification Firm, an international capacity building bodyto trains and certifies every commodity that is exported.He further promised that the association would be considered by the Ministry in training its members.