Kaduna Govt. Flags Off $120 Million Potato Project
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has flagged off the construction of a Potato Farm and Processing factory said to be worth $120 million.
The factory, said to be the first of its kind in West Africa, is located at Manchok in Kaura Local Government Area of the state and is expected to be completed in 18 months.
The project is being undertaken in partnership with Vicampro International, an agro-based company with branches in several countries.
At the ground breaking ceremony on Saturday, Governor El-Rufai noted that the facility would earn foreign exchange and reduce over-dependence on oil.
He pledged the state government’s commitment towards the promotion of agricultural practices to fast track development, diversify the economy and boost Internally Generated Revenue.
The Governor appealed to the host community to support and cooperate with the company in charge of the project.
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, who was also present at the event noted that access to finance has remained a major challenge to most investors.
He however said that the issue was being addressed to ensure that investors with viable ideas were given the necessary support.
Emefiele pointed out that the drop in oil prices had affected Nigeria’s economy, adding that diversification was the only alternative to overcome the economic crisis.
On her part, the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar, described the development as a giant stride towards moving the nation’s economy forward.
Gambo Hamza, the Executive Secretary of Kaduna State Investment Promotion Agency, KADIPA, explained that the factory, upon completion, would need about 10,000 hectares of land for potato cultivation and has the capacity to process 2,500 tonnes of potatoes daily, create at least 30,000 jobs.
Items expected to be produced at the factory include French fries, Irish flakes and biscuits for local and international consumption.