NIGER, NOVEMBER 1, 2017 – Nigeria plans to establish a $1 billion crop-processing park with Turkish investors in the country’s north as part of efforts to improve value and boost agricultural exports, according to the country’s investment-promotion agency.
The Badeggi Crop Processing Zone in Niger state is expected to start in June next year, with an initial investment of $250 million by a Turkish investor, deputy director at Abuja-based Nigerian Investment Promotion Council, Aminu Takuma, said in an Oct. 30 interview. Additional funds of $800 million will follow and the investor will operate the park while owning a 60 percent stake, he said without identifying the Turkish partner, citing confidentiality obligations.
The facility will process more than 750,000 metric tons of crops including rice, maize, yam, cassava, groundnuts and peas every year, according to the agency. The government plans to set up 15 similar crop zones across the country of more than 180 million people.
President Muhammadu Buhari is trying to end the country’s dependence on oil as it emerges from its worst economic slump in 25 years caused by a drop in the output and price of crude, which accounts for more than 90 percent of foreign income. The government’s economic growth plan seeks to increase the contribution of agriculture to gross domestic product to more than 8 percent by 2020, from about 4 percent this year.
Goods will be transported from the crop-processing zone through the nearby Baro inland port on the Niger River, taking them down to the coast for shipment abroad, Takuma said.