From: Halima Zainab, Abuja
In an effort to add value to agricultural food supply in the country, Nasarawa State Governor, Engr Abdullahi Sule on Tuesday commissioned a fully automated agro-processing, aggregating, export and commodity trading facility.
The facility, built by a private investor, Newpal Nigeria Limited in Keffi is a 20 tons per hour capacity industry.
Speaking at the commissioning, the Governor said that the industry would not only create job opportunities for citizens of the State but also improve their standard of living.
“the benefits that Nasarawa State would continue to derive in investment in terms of employment generation and improvement in the living condition of the people within this establishment is enormous,” he said.
While commending Newpal for the investment, the Governor stressed the administration’s readiness to support private investments in the State with a view to ensuring agricultural development.
His words:“it is pertinent to reiterate that this administration will continue to encourage private investment and partnership towards accelerating agricultural development and industrialisation of this state.
“Let me commend Newpal for citing this N1billion investment in our state, I look forward to more partnerships in order to determine our economic direction in this state”.
Earlier, Managing Director Newpal, John Samuel said the goal of Newpal is to provide food and nutrition security for all Nigerians, create employment for the youths and increase farmers’ income.
Samuel explained that an industrial hub built on the processing of commodity would deepen both intra and interstate trade, attract needed investments and make use of commodities more efficiently.
While highlighting some challenges of Nigeria’s agriculture to include; inconsistencies in government policies, high-interest rate, poor rural infrastructure, poor mechanisation support, lack of extension service providers, low productivity, multiple taxations, inaccessibility to genuine farm input, he said the trading facility can be used as a manufacturing hub for the food industrial sector and export.