Kaduna State Government, says it is fine-tuning a detailed plan to stimulate both local and foreign investments into the state Agriculture sector.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Forestry, Mr. Manzo Daniel-Maigari, made the remarks at a one-day Re-Validation of Agricultural Investment Plan on Wednesday in Kaduna.
Represented by Mrs. Jummai Ambi, Deputy Director, Agric Services, Maigari said the state government would soon unveil the Investment plan that contains huge opportunities in the Agriculture sector.
He said that the state has more than half of its arable land uncultivated, in addition to the huge manpower yet to be fully tapped.
The commissioner said the state is among the best in terms of ease of doing business going by the recent World Bank ranking; the highest producer of Ginger which places Nigeria tops in Africa and among first five in the global ranking.
Maigari said that Kaduna is also the highest tomato producer in the country, even as the state contributes over 34 percent of maize supply according to the National Bureau of statistics.
He said further that the state also ranked among the major producers of Sorghum, Soybeans, and Rice among other crops.
The commissioner said the investment plan would provide investors and other Agro-dealers with needed information that would guide them to invest in the sector.
He said the sector is most attractive due to the steps the state government had taken, assuring investors of a good return on their investments.
The draft of the Investment Plan provides investors with such information on soil types and quality, areas where specific crops grow more.
Other information includes the cost of crop production from land clearing to point of harvest, including tones to expect per hectare, required funds and labor outsourcing.
It also provides the information on infrastructure including roads, air, and rail transport systems as well as local and international markets.
A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Synergos Nigeria facilitated the Investment Plan, under state Partnership in Agriculture (SPA) funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Field Manager of Synergos, Victor Adejoh, said the investment plan which is research and data-based would attract more agro-allied and agribusinesses into the state.
He said the plan would help the government to provide the needed impetus in the area of infrastructure, land availability and financing for both small-holder and large-scale farming in the state.
He said the plan is backed by data obtained from both the National and State Bureaus for Statistics as well as survey information from relevant government agencies in the state.
Officials of the Ministries of Agriculture and Forestry, Commerce and Industry and, Budget and Planning attended the Re-Validation exercise.
Others included officials from the State Investment Promotion Agency (KADIPA), State Geographic Information Service (KADGIS), Kaduna Agriculture Development Agency (KADA), and the State Bureau of Statistics as well as officials of State Environmental Protection Authority (KEPA).
The Agriculture Investment Plan was presented for Re-Validation by Prof. Bolorunduro Paul of the National Agriculture Extension Research of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.