The Governor of Nasarawa State, Engr Abdullahi Sule on Tuesday commissioned a fully automated state of art agro-processing, aggregating, export and commodity trading facility built by Newpal Nigeria Limited in Keffi.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Governor Sule said the 20 tons per hour capacity industry would add value to the agricultural food supply in the country and also for export. He further noted that the industry would create jobs for the citizens of the state and also improve the standard of living of the citizens.
The Manager Director of the Industry, John Samson said the goal of Newpal is to provide food and nutrition security for all Nigerians, create employment for the youths and increase farmers income.
He highlighted some challenges of Nigeria’s agriculture to include “inconsistencies in government policies, high-interest rate, poor rural infrastructure, poor mechanisation support, lack of extension service providers, low productivity, multiple taxations, inaccessibility to genuine farm inputs to mention a few”.
He, however, said, “these challenges notwithstanding, Newpal management sees a ray of hope in this all-important sector because Nigeria has a total of eighty-one million hectares of arable land, several cubic metres of water and 200 million people to feed daily”.
“It is important to also reiterate that the goal of Newpal as a corporate entity is in perfect alignment with the vision of the Government of Engr. Abdullahi Sule, one of which is to provide food and nutrition security for all Nigerians, create employment for our teeming youth, increase farmers income and more importantly to curtail post-harvest losses which have been the bane of our agricultural production in the country. Statistics show that Nigeria loses over 40% of its farm produce due to poor storage infrastructure and value addition”, Samson added.
In his address, Governor Sule said “I am informed that this industrial outfit with a capacity of 20 tons per hour was constructed by a private initiative and consists of a production facility, state of the art laboratory and other business units.
“I have no doubt that with these kinds of high-class processing and production facilities will add value to the agricultural food supply that will be right here and meeting international quality standards.
“I note with appreciation that aside processing, Newpal is also engaged in the deportation of agricultural products such as cashew nuts, Sesame seed and other associated products to other parts of the world”.
Furthermore, the Nasarawa State Governor said “the benefits that Nasarawa State would continue to derive in investment in terms of employment generation and improvement in the living condition of the people within this establishment is enormous.
“You are aware that our state is endowed with enormous agricultural potentials consisting of the abundance of both natural and human resources and availability of land for agricultural production. The state is blessed with over 2.7 million hectares of land which over 1 million are actually arable in nature and suitable for cultivation of varieties of crops for both domestic consumption and export”
“While commending Newpal for the investment, Governor Sule said, “it is pertinent to reiterate that this administration will continue to encourage private investment and partnership towards accelerating agricultural development and industrialisation of this state”.
“Let me commend Newpal for the sighting of this N1 billion investment in our state, I look for to more partnerships with so many other collaborators in order to determine our economic direction in this state”.