Nigeria: FG launches five-year plan to boost potato production
The Federal Government on Thursday launched a five-year national strategic plan to boost potato production in the country.
Speaking in Jos, Plateau State on Thursday, the Minister of Agriculture and Food security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, said the goal of the government was to stimulate economic growth through various agricultural value chain activities.
These, he said, would create employment opportunities and improved livelihoods for the teeming youths and women.
Kyari stated that the implementation of the National Potato Strategy from 2023 to 2028 would follow in the same footsteps of the Rice policy to usher in an era of productive competitiveness in the Nigerian potato industry.
He noted that potato can be commercially grown in 12 states of the federation which hold well for the activities of many stakeholders.
“The essence of this strategy is to ensure sustainable food and nutrition security with a view to catalysing the rapid transformation of the Nigerian potato sector into a commercially viable sub-sector of the Agricultural Value Chains as a major export product,” The minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe.
He added, “The Ministry is aware of the challenges in the agricultural sector and necessary measures are being taken to address them accordingly. And that is why the ministry is embarking on massive production, processing, value addition and product development to be the bedrock for driving our industries.
“This launching couldn’t have been better timed, following President’s recent directive on the intensification of crop production. I have no doubt that the Nigerian Potato industry has the potential to become globally competitive given the country’s strong comparative advantage in production.”
While speaking, Plateau State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, thanked the federal government for its efforts aimed at boosting food production in the country.
Represented by the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Bugama Samson, the governor who described the state as a home of potato production in the country assured that his administration would do everything possible to ensure that the five year national potato strategic plan achieves success in the state
“We will make sure that the goal of putting the resources together comes to fruition,” the governor added .
The PUNCH reports that the official launch of the five year national potato strategic plan in Jos attracted several stakeholders in the agricultural sectors across the country including National Potato Multi-Stakeholders Forum, officials of the National Root Crop Research Institute, GIZ, National Agricultural Seed Council among others