The Nigeria Competitiveness Project (NICOP) is to support ginger and tomatoes value chain in Kaduna State.
The Project’s Country Director, Anna Vinambres Giz, at the inauguration of the project said it will be supporting key value chains in Nigeria to promote structural transformation and overcome coordination and linkage failures.
She mentioned that the project will help in improving access to regional and International markets while taking social and environmental concerns into account.
Giz explained that NICOP would also support the private sector to provide added value to agricultural products and textiles in Kaduna, Abia, Kano, Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Plateau and Kebbi.
The Country Director however noted that the focus in Kaduna State would be on ginger, tomato and chilli value chains.
On his part, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Sunday Akpan said the programme was kicked started in Abia and will involve farmers at the grassroots.
Akpan, who was represented by Aliyu Abubakar, a Director in the Ministry, disclosed that the project is being supported by the EU.
He stated at that to achieve the objectives, NICOP will provide technical support, including capacity building, productivity enhancement, entrepreneurship, good agricultural practices, mechanization, workflow and process re-engineering.
“It will also support quality improvement, new product varieties, market linkages, standardization, certification, and access to finance and investment.”
While thanking the EU for their support, the Permanent Secretary said the project would help in eradicating poverty, open up job opportunities, and aid sustainable economic growth and development across the Country.
Governor Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna State said the project was in line with his administration’s focus on agriculture and also assured that, government would create enabling environment for farmers and uptakers of agricultural produce.
The Governor,, who was represented by Ummah Aboki, the Executive Secretary Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency, noted that the programme was very important to the State, which is the larger producer of tomatoes and ginger in the Country.