Optimism Surrounds the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) Programme
In an effort to revitalise the agricultural sector in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the FCT Administration is focusing on the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) programme. This ambitious initiative aims to bring a fresh wave of growth and innovation, particularly within the livestock sector.
Equipping Committee Members
The secretary of the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat at FCTA, Mr. Lawan Geidam, expressed unwavering optimism during the inauguration of a five-day workshop for members of the programme’s implementation committee in Abuja. He believes that the SAPZ programme will not only enhance the FCT’s revenue streams but also serve as a catalyst for employment creation and infrastructural development in host communities. Geidam reaffirmed the FCT Administration’s steadfast commitment to support the programme’s implementation, emphasising the need to achieve the desired outcomes.
During the workshop, an agricultural consultant, Dr. Adesola Oyebanji, offered insights into the programme’s objectives and underlined its crucial role in enhancing project management skills among committee members. This skill development is seen as vital for overcoming both expected and unexpected challenges in the implementation of the SAPZ programme.
Addressing Challenges for a Smooth Start
Oyebanji also urged the FCT Administration to promptly address challenges at the proposed Paikon Kore Grazing Reserve, which is positioned to become a central hub for livestock production, processing, and marketing in the FCT. Resolving these issues swiftly is essential for ensuring a smooth start to the programme.
The programme coordinator in FCT, Hajiya Umma Abubakar, expressed her gratitude to the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) for their support of the SAPZ programme. She assured these institutions that the Programme Implementation Committee is fully prepared to drive transformative change in the livestock sector of the federal capital.
Expanding Horizons: The SAPZ Programme
The SAPZ programme’s initial phase, backed by AfDB, is set to be implemented in various regions, including Cross River, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Ogun, Oyo, and the FCT. This comprehensive programme aims to promote inclusive and sustainable agro-industrial development in Nigeria. It comprises four key components designed to enhance climate-adaptive infrastructure for agro-industrial hubs. It will also boost agricultural productivity, improve enterprise development, stimulate agricultural value chain growth, and create employment opportunities. Additionally, it seeks to support agro-industrial zone policy and institutional development, along with programme coordination and management. The ambitious SAPZ programme is scheduled for implementation between 2022 and 2026.