By Bisade Ojoye
Officials of two development partners, African Development Bank (AfDB) and International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), have adjudged Ogun as the best State for the commencement of a Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone (SAPZ) project, facilitated by the Federal Government.
The team leader, AfDB, Dr. Chima Ezedinma, who dropped this hint after a site inspection tour to assess the State’s level of preparedness, towards implementation of SAPZ project, affirmed that Ogun has the natural resources for the supply of raw materials needed by industries for the agro-processing businesses.
The inspection was a follow-up to the pre-appraisal meeting for the creation of Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone (SAPZ), held between the State government and the implementing partners recently, as different teams from AfDB and IFAD have inspected 21 States in the country for assessment, including all South-West States, except Lagos.
Speaking earlier while conducting the team round the proposed project site, Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Adeola Odedina said the inspection was necessary for the team to properly ascertain available resources for proper implementation of SAPZ initiative of the Federal Government.
Contributing, his counterpart in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Kikelomo Longe, expressed optimism that industries would have a reliable access to cost-effective raw materials needed for their production, saying “we have continued to see improved yield in the cassava value-chain, which will make the product more competitive and farmers will have much more value for money”.