Nigeria Mobilizes $500 Million for Agro-Industrial Processing Zones to Enhance Food Security

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Vice-President Kashim Shettima announced in Rome, Italy, during the United Nations Food Systems summit that Nigeria has successfully raised over $500 million for transformative initiatives aimed at achieving innovative, profitable, equitable, and sustainable food systems.

The funds were secured through a collaboration of domestic resources, multilateral development banks, international financial institutions, and climate funds, with the support of leading agro-businesses. These funds will be utilized to finance the transformation of the country’s food system, develop Nigeria’s agro value chain, and establish special agro-industrial processing zones.

One noteworthy program that will be showcased during the event is the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), a successful partnership between producers, the public sector, and private operators. Co-funded by Nigeria and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the VCDP has empowered vulnerable farmers and youth, facilitating commercial partnerships with prominent global food processing and marketing firms, including Olam.

Vice President Shettima affirmed the government’s commitment to end hunger and highlighted their determination to empower rural smallholders, youth, and women living below the poverty line. The establishment of special processing zones aims to provide these groups with new opportunities for growth and development.

Emphasizing the significance of the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ), Vice President Shettima highlighted the collaborative efforts of local governments, IFAD, the African Development Bank (AfDB), Olam, and other private actors in ensuring transformative financing for food systems that includes everyone, leaving no one behind.

Regarding the business environment, Vice President Shettima mentioned the removal of subsidies on petrol, a move similar to that of President Ruto in Kenya. The government took immediate action to mitigate the effects of subsidy removal by releasing grains and fertilizers. Additionally, a commodity marketing board was established to monitor food item prices regularly.

Furthermore, the government has allocated substantial funds to enhance the country’s security architecture, particularly in regions facing challenges like the Northeast and Northwest, where support for farmers and farms is being prioritized. This comprehensive approach seeks to create a conducive environment for the agricultural sector and ensure food security across Nigeria.

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