The African Development Bank (AfDB) has revealed that it will commence the implementation of Staple Crop Processing Zones (SCPZs) in 8 states across Nigeria.
SCPZs which is an initiative of AfDB is targeted at locating crop processing zones in areas where the crops are being produced or areas with comparative advantage in the production of targeted crops.
The Senior Special Adviser on Industrialization, Office of the President, AfDB Group, Professor Oyelaran Oyeyinka said SCPZs is a locational model located within farming communities themselves.
Professor Oyeyinka said this while presenting a keynote address at the Feed Nigeria Summit held in Abuja with the theme “Post-COVID-19: A Repaired Food System, Pathway to a Revived Economy.”
He revealed the benefitting states to include Kano, Kaduna, FCT, Kwara, Ogun, Oyo, Imo and Cross River States. He said AfDB will work together with its partners to ensure we start Implementation this year.
The AfDB official said: “We want to ensure that as a model of a special economic zone the SCPZ is done in a different way. The SCPZ as a locational model is located within farming communities itself. It is a solution to solve the Nigerian issue in which we have had in stock for decades.
Professor Oyeyinka said there is a need to move away from being an agrarian society, “there is no pride in saying that 80 per cent are employed in agriculture.”
He said there are countries where 2 per cent are employed in agriculture and export billions of food to other countries. “Hopefully, the model we are proposing will be one of the solutions,” he noted.\
“SCPZs we believe will stimulate investment in infrastructure particularly in the underserved areas of our country.
“SCPZs are catalysts for private sector development. The government enable the zones to be built, but at the end of the day, the success of a particular zone is how many companies that we’re able to attract to that zone.
“So, in other words, we are working with private sector actors and we are inviting them into these zones even now,” Professor Oyeyinka said.
He said the Bank will commence the implementation with the first set of 8 locations in Nigeria which the Ministry of Agriculture is the executing agent.
“What distinguishes a country that has succeeded from those that have failed is that all of them diversified their economy, they added value to what they produce, nobody survives by simply just producing and exporting raw materials to other countries,” he added.