By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja with Agency Report
President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, in a goodwill message at the ‘Feed Nigeria Summit (FNS) 2017 series, held in Lagos said Nigeria is well-positioned in the matrix of feeding Africa sustainably.
Adesina said the summit provides an excellent platform for discussing how to further ramp up support for agriculture as a business, while restating AFDB’s resolve to transform rural economies in Africa through agriculture value chains to create market opportunities for farmers.
Adesina urged governments to provide incentives for food and agribusiness companies to locate in rural areas and establish staple crop-processing zones (SCPZ) which are vast agro –industrial zones to supported food industries to establish in order to reduce the cost of doing business, create huge market pool for farmers and cut post-harvest losses.
He said “The SCPZs will also transform rural Africa into new zones of economic prosperity.” The summit tagged “Feed Nigeria, To Feed Africa” was organized by Agro Nigeria, an agricultural mouthpiece, in collaboration with its partners, to create a platform for strategic engagement between the government, private sector players and various development communities as well as an initiative of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Speaking at the event, the chairman of Agro Nigeria, Elder Edem Ekwo, noted that the FNS was convened to critically address challenges of agriculture in the country and proffer workable solutions to them. The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo was represented by Special Adviser to the President on Social Investment, Mrs. Maryam Uwais, who gave the opening speech.
According to her, the Home Grown School Feeding programme is one of the four social investment schemes of the Buhari Administration and is deliberately targeted at production by by small holder famers in the communities while generating jobs for community women who serve as a cooks to the pupils.