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Agriculture: Bauchi Educates Farmers on Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone in Bauchi

By Abdulwahab Muhammad, Bauchi

Bauchi State government has educated farmers and other stakeholders as part of its effort to ensure all-around success of the African Development Bank-backed Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone located in the state.

The state Commussioner Ministry of Agriculture Professor Simon Madugu Yalams stated that the administration will continue to give necessary support to ensure the success of the SAPZ.

While speaking at a workshop on the social Environmental impact assessement for Stakeholders’ Scoping on the Proposed Bauchi State Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone (SAPZ), Phase II project held in Bauchi, the commissioner said that the state was determined to expand its economy via the agribusiness value chain.

Represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture Dr Iliyasu Gital the commIssioner said that Bauchi State is privileged to have been selected as one of the states for the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone, saying that the project will give room for structural transformation in agriculture.

He said that, “a project that can impact on many households and create not less than direct jobs and indirect jobs across the six state, is not one that we are ready to toy with.”

Commissioner said that Bauchi state been among the two states selected from the six states of the North will work together with the consultant to ensure that all the standard set for the project are met by Bauchi state.

“Our Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed is very forthcoming, is very proactive, he has done his part, he will still continue to do, but what is left for us now and the consultant is to make sure that all the standards that are set are been met.” he said.

“Like you have heard from one of us, the university has to be involved, the Army have to be involved. So, to make sure that we are selected, each and every individual that is going to be affected by this project must be consulted, has his consent and has a positive contribution that is going to make.”

The permanent secretary ministry of Agriculture Alhaji Ibrahim.Yushau Isa said that the present administration will continue to develop the three farm products including cassava, sesame, soyabean, and rice, cassava, potatoes , sweet potatoes,,maize as requested by African Development Bank (AfDB) to expand the state’s economy.

He explained that based on the performance of the SAPZ and quality of the proposed project, other banks such as Arab Development Bank, International Bank for Agricultural Development are also funding the project.

He said that, been a concise project, SAPZ cannot be started without ensuring that the concerned people are fully aware and educated about it.

“The purpose of the Workshop today is to sensitize the stakeholders, the farmers, the locations, the communities that are going to benefit to know that the project is coming”, he said.

He said that the Workshop will also give the participants the opportunity to know what is expected of them and their environment, particularly at this time when the project is taking into consideration, environmental assessment.

“This is because any project has environmental impact, therefore, we want to assess, what are the negative impact the project is going to cause to the environment, what are the environmental issues that the project will benefit from, so today we will discuss them, if there are any problem with the project we will know how to mitigate them.

He explained that without meeting with the people that are in the communities, the problems would not be known for possible solution before the project takes off.

“If there is anything that we think will bring problem to the community in future, we will bring it up today so that we can trash it, the community will know that yes as a result of this project so so things are going to happen but we have devised a way of mitigating them”. 

He pointed out Ibrahim, said Governor Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed has special interest on the project because of its economic importance which will make Bauchi one of the state that can export food crops to outside world He said “It is one gathering whose aim is targeted at one of the main pillars of the government of Bauchi State-expansion of the economy via the agribusiness value chain.

“As it has been stated, the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone, which the State is privileged to have been selected as one of the pioneer states, is a government-enabled private sector-led initiative, which the President of African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwumi Adesina described as a critical way to have ‘structural transformation’ in agriculture. Permanent secretary explained that the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone, will not only boost economic activities through agribusiness but also help to engage teeming youths in the state.

“Bauchi State, undoubtedly has landed as its prized asset, especially land that is not only fertile for agricultural purposes but also rich in solid minerals.

“Thus, the coming of a SAPZ will not only be of added value to our quest for an economic boost through agribusiness but also help to engage our teeming youths who are yearning to hit the rooftops with enormous talents in the various agricultural fields.

“Already, the state has taken the lead in the provision of enabling environment to enhance the effectiveness of this initiative by developing agribusiness industrial hubs across the state.

Let me state clearly that the government of Bauchi State will continue to do all that is necessary to see to the success of this program.

“Just as we are told that you are adopting a collaborative approach, we are equally ready to collaborate with you for positive impacts on our people.”

 He said the Workshop will enable the two representatives of communities to understand the intention of the project so that they will explain to their communites when they go back home.

The Minister of emvironment Balarabe Abbas Lawal who was represented by the Director environmental impact assessement Bauchi office Mr AB Maina Said the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) project will unlock the opportunities for food security, job security and increase the contribution of the sector to the GDP He said the project is designed to diversify the country’s economy by changing agriculture to becoming a profitable economic venture.

Minister said government is determined to give unprecedented attention to agriculture and food security, through schemes like the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) project, adding: He urged the stakeholders to ensure that all hands are on deck to ensure a successful implementation of the program in the state.”

Minister commended Bauchi State Governor and the ministry of Agriculture for their commitment and political will towards the success of the Project.

In their separate contributions Participants at the Workshop expressed their readiness to contribute their quota and ensure of the project and pledged to sensitize their communities on the benefits of the project for the socio economic development of the state.

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