By Fortune Abang
Abuja, Aug. 11, 2020 The African Union (AU)’s Economic, Social and Cultural Council (EU-ECOSOCC) has underscored the need for proper investment in the development of potato value-chain to boost Nigeria’s economy.
Mr Lugard Okonobo, the Senior Technical Advisor of AU-ECOSOCC Nigeria, gave the advice while briefing newsmen on the partnership for the International Potato Value Chain and Root Crops Expo 2020 in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said that the expo would hold from Nov. 9 to Nov 11, in Jos, Plateau.
“AU-ECOSOCC involvement in this is very key since COVID-19 pandemic has affected food security globally.
“AU under Dr Tunji Asaolu, 1st-Nigerian Representative of the 3rd Permanent General Assembly of AU-ECOSOCC, the body deemed it fit to partner ABG Paulas and endorse the potato value chain.
“It is very key for us to mobilise stakeholders to support this initiative.
“We have the mandate to promote the Africa we want, which the agenda 6063 is all about.
“On how we are going to build Africa, we are bringing manufacturers that will assist investors to get good potato processing capability, increase processing capacity and production,’’ Lugard said.
Speaking at the event, Ambrose Okojie, the Managing Director of ABG PAULAS AGRICBIZ, said that expo was designed to showcase Nigeria’s economic potential to the world.
Okojie said that about 25 companies would come from across the world for the project.
“We have come to add value to farming in potato industry in Nigeria.
“We are partnering with Plateau government; we are trying to reduce youth restiveness and turn potatoes into money.
“We want to add value from the farm, harvesting, processing and the entire value chain.
“Plateau government has keyed into it for us to make it a reality.
“”Farming is the next blessing in Nigeria, we need Nigerian investors to key into it.’’
In his remarks, Mr Charles Ozoemena, Local Organising member of the expo said that they were setting up a structure for the exhibition to attract many stakeholders.
“One of the key issues we want to solve is that of storage, which is a problem confronting the farming,’’ Ozoemena said.
Newsmen reports that ECOSOCC, an advisory body of the AU, was established to give civil society organisations a voice within its institutions and decision-making processes.