The administration led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu celebrated another successful chapter in its investment efforts. The African Development Bank (AfDB), Islamic Development Bank (IDB), and the International Fund for Agricultural Development revealed their commitment of $1 billion to expand special agro-industrial processing zones across 24 Nigerian states,leadership report.
This comes as an addition to the initial $520 million pledged by these development partners to establish eight special agro-industrial processing zones in Nigeria.
Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, unveiled this significant investment during the Norman Borlaug International Dialogue at the World Food Prize 2023 event in Des Moines, Iowa, United States.
Vice President Kashim Shettima, representing the Tinubu administration’s focus on food security and diversification, delivered a keynote address during the event. In a speech titled “From Dakar to Des Moines,” Dr. Adesina emphasized that the substantial funding for Nigeria’s agribusiness is part of a broader effort to develop Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) across 13 countries.
He highlighted the importance of SAPZs in supporting agricultural value chains, food processing, value addition, and the development of infrastructure and logistics to promote local, regional, and international food trade.
The African Development Bank Group is actively investing $853 million in SAPZ development and has secured additional co-financing of $661 million, resulting in a total commitment of $1.5 billion. They are currently implementing 25 Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones in 13 countries. Notably, the development partners have allocated $520 million for the creation of eight special agro-industrial processing zones in Nigeria, with plans to mobilize an additional $1 billion for 24 additional zones in the country.
Dr. Adesina acknowledged that while progress has been made in African agriculture, 283 million people still suffer from hunger in Africa, which constitutes about a third of the 828 million people globally experiencing hunger. He portrayed the Norman Borlaug International Dialogue World Food Prize 2023 as a journey that combines science, technology, policies, and politics to unlock Africa’s agricultural potential and eradicate hunger.
The presence of Vice President Kashim Shettima and the President of Ethiopia, Sahle-Work Zewde, at the global event demonstrated Africa’s political commitment to addressing food insecurity and eliminating hunger on the continent.
During a discussion with Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, Vice President Kashim Shettima highlighted the Tinubu administration’s initiatives for food security and emphasized the critical role of leadership in driving transformation in agriculture and other sectors. He commended leaders like Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Macky Sall of Senegal, and Abdel Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt for their exemplary leadership.
Vice President Shettima also outlined specific targets for wheat and rice production in Nigeria, expressing the aim to achieve 50% self-sufficiency in wheat production and full self-sufficiency in rice production by 2027. He emphasized the need to provide farmers with essential resources and support to meet these goals, including heat-tolerant wheat seeds, irrigation expansion, and digitalization of services.
Moreover, he reiterated the Tinubu administration’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for investors in the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZs) by establishing an SAPZ development authority as a one-stop shop for addressing regulatory and associated issues.