The Federal Government has launched a five-year national strategic plan to boost potato production in Nigeria.
Speaking in Jos, Plateau State, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, said the government’s goal was to stimulate economic growth through various agricultural value chain activities.
The minister, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ernest Umakhihe, added that the agricultural value chain activities would create employment opportunities and improved livelihoods for the teeming youths and women.
Kyari, stated that implementing the National Potato Strategy from 2023 to 2028, would follow in the footsteps of the Rice policy to usher in an era of productive competitiveness in the Nigerian potato industry.
The minister, who observed that potato could be commercially grown in 12 states of the federation which hold well for the activities of many stakeholders, added that, “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.”
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.”