The Federal Government has set a target of ensuring growth in the cotton, textile, garment and grains sector In a bid to sustain food security and economic growth in the country.
The Minister of State Industry, Trade and Investment, Mariam Katagum who disclosed this recently, maintained that the government has concluded plans to establish agro-allied industries in each Senatorial district in the country.
Katagum, during a meeting with a delegation from the Amana Farmers and Grains Suppliers Association of Nigeria (AFGSAN) led by its Chairman, Haruna Ahmad Pambeguwa in Abuja, assured that government is very interested in growing the economy.
Katagum maintained that the focus is on cotton, garment, grains, tomatoes etc, stating that there is a need to add value to these products and other agro-allied products too.
She added that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed that in every Senatorial district there should be an establishment of the agro-allied industry so we are pleading with AFGSAN to help identify the agro-allied industries in these regions that we can work with.
The Minister said border closure is a lesson and a blessing to the country. This shows we can produce what we need to eat and even export. The border closure has taught Nigerians some positive critical lessons, showing that we can continue investing in farming even if the oil is still found in any part of the country.
She pointed out that value addition and certification of the food products were very germane in order to generate additional revenue as well as meet with the international standard for export. The association should move a step further by registering with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council NEPC, Standard Organization of Nigeria SON, and the Commodity and Export Department in the Ministry including other relevant agencies for necessary technical assistance.
Speaking, the Chairman of Amana Farmers and Grains Suppliers Association of Nigeria (AFGSAN) Haruna Ahmad Pambeguwa said the delegation was in the Ministry to congratulate the Minister on her well-deserved appointment and to seek for Ministry’s support in order to compete globally with their products.
The Chairman said the association has national spread in 36 States of the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja with massive investments in agro-allied business in various agricultural produce, adding that amongst them they those who can export their commodities, all we seek is support and licence so we can compete globally.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his good leadership style, saying that the ban on importation of rice had provided food security and created more jobs for the youth, “Because of his style of leadership in Nigeria we are fully satisfied with a good policy on the ban on import. We don’t want any import, we want to export our products”, he stated.