AfDB to support agro-processing zones with $300m

The African Development Bank is to support the implementation of the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones project in Nigeria with $300m.

Senior Special Adviser on Industrialisation to AfDB President, Prof. Oyebanji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, disclosed this at an SAPZ Inception Workshop in Abuja on Monday.

The SAPZs are designed to concentrate agro-processing activities within areas of high agricultural potential.

The zones, which are also expected to create jobs, boost food security and reduce food imports, will enable agricultural produces, processors and distributors to operate in one vicinity.

Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, in a presentation at the event, said AfDB would support the SAPZs with $300m, and also rally development partners to provide grants and loans for the project.

The bank will also provide capacity building and technical advice, he added.

Noting that AfDB was supporting similar projects in 15 countries, he said Nigeria should emulate success stories in countries like Gabo and Senegal where SAPZs had contributed to economic growth.

According to him, the project is also aimed at stemming urban migration, which he said had created a phenomenon of ‘urbanisation without industrialisation’ in Nigerian cities.

Lagos, the country’s most populous city, could be depopulated through establishment of SAPZs, Oyelaran-Oyeyinka said.

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