The Nigerian Government alongside development partners including the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and other Relevant Partners launched the National Potato Strategy (NPS) 2023 -2028.
The strategy aims to increase potato production into a commercially viable sub-sector of the Agricultural Value Chains, boost export earnings and achieve Food and Nutrition Security in the Agricultural Sector.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Ministry of Information on Friday evening after the strategy was launched in Jos, Plateau State by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Dr. Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe.
The statement revealed that the scheme is a collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (FMAFS) the Green Innovation Centre for the Agriculture and Food Sector and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and other Relevant Partners .
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Dr. Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe, represented by the Director, Federal Department of Agriculture, Engr. Abdullahi Abubakar said that the strategy would stimulate economic growth through various agricultural value chain activities, create employment opportunities and improve livelihoods for teeming youths and women, adding:
“Food and nutrition security was a priority for the Ministry and we are committed to achieving it. The Ministry is embarking on the massive production, processing, value addition and product development to be the bedrock for driving the industries’’
The Ministry added that the Nigerian Potato Value Chain has the potential to become globally competitive given the country’s strong comparative advantage in production, They said:
“Potatoes can be commercially grown in 12 States which holds well for the activities of many stakeholders.
“The potato strategy document would be a springboard for the realization of Nigeria’s aspiration to achieve food and nutrition security.
He commended the contribution of GIZ’s Global Programme “Green Innovation Centres for the Agriculture and Food Sector-Nigeria’’ (GIAE), International Potato Centre (CIP) Nairobi, Kenya and other stakeholders for developing the National Potato Strategy Document 2023-2028.
The Governor of Plateau State, Barr. Caleb Muftwang represented by the State Commissioner of Agriculture, Hon. Bugama Samson assured that his administration would partner and collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in actualizing the laudable program.
The Country Director, of the German Agency for International Cooperation, GIZ, Markus Wagner added that German Cooperation has been partnering with Nigeria in the areas of sustainable economic development and transformation of the Agri-Food System, including the promotion and support of agricultural value chains for many years.
“The goal of the German Cooperation is to strengthen the income, employment, financial inclusion and food security of smallholder farmers and agribusiness.
‘’As we celebrate this launch, let us seize this opportunity to commit to the implementation of the strategic pillars, ensuring that the National Potato Strategy not only remains a document but transforms into a catalyst for positive change’’.
More details on the strategy
Umakhihe said that the move was timely, following President Tinubu’s recent directive on the intensification of crop production.
He also added that the move aimed at catalysing the rapid transformation of the Nigerian potato sector into a commercially viable sub-sector of the agricultural value chains into a major export product.
”Our goal is to stimulate economic growth through various agricultural value chain activities, thereby creating employment opportunities and improved livelihoods for our teeming youths and women.
”The ministry is embarking on massive production, processing, value addition and product development to be the bedrock for driving our industries.
” 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,” he said
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