The African Development Bank (AfDB) has announced that it will begin implementing the Staple Crop Processing Zones (SCPZs) in eight Nigerian states, Oyo state included.
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 disclosed 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.”
Prof. Oyeyinka stated that the states that will profit are Oyo, Kano, Kaduna, FCT, Kwara, Ogun, Imo, and Cross River adding that the AfDB will collaborate with its partners to ensure that implementation begins this year.
According to him, SCPZs is a locational model located within farming communities themselves.
He 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 maintained that some countries employ 2% of their population in agriculture and export billions of dollars worth of food to other countries. He added, “Hopefully, the model we’re suggesting will be one of the solutions.”
“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 enables 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 stated that the Bank will start with the initial batch of eight locations in Nigeria, with the Ministry of Agriculture serving as 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.