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Palm oil sector can grow Nigeria’s economy by $1bn — Minister

Niyi Adebayo Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, has urged investors to take advantage of the palm oil subsector which he said has a market opportunity of about USD1 billion.

The minister also announced plans by the Federal Government to collaborate with investors to implement a backward integration programme across key selected priority products to include palm oil, sugar, cassava starch, cotton textiles and garments.

Adebayo disclosed this on Thursday, during his address at the second Andersen Africa-Europe Bridge Conference held virtually.

On cassava starch, he said while Nigeria remains the largest producer in the world, the Minister said a significant domestic supply gap existed with more than 95 per cent of cassava starch still being imported.

He said the government focus was on bringing in large scale investors to bridge the gap and increase the production of cassava starch.

Speaking on cotton, the minister told the gathering that the government strategy was to leverage the special economic zones for garment production for both local market and export.

Read also: Okitipupa Oil Palm set for re-capitalisation after reforms

He declared that the government was committed to the establishment of special agro-processing zones across the country so as to reduce post-harvest losses, increase value addition to farmers and enhance rural employment.

According to him, the government was partnering with the African Development Bank to achieve its goals in this regard adding that the Ministry would be willing to collaborate with potential partners in different areas of this project.

“Similarly, we aim to build at least one agro-processing facility in each of the country’s 109 senatorial districts by leveraging available government funding and exploring innovative financing methods such as public-private-partnership and grants

“Nigeria’s agribusiness sector is full of opportunities across multiple value chains, especially in the area of processing. The outlook report from the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation states that the sector will undergo robust growth projected to rise 30 per cent between 2018 and 2028,” he stressed.

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