Igbawase Ukumba in Lafia
The Nasarawa State government has announced that it has marked over 270,000 hectres of land for the purpose of purely commercial agriculture to earn foreign exchange for the state through the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Dr Abdulkarim Kana, disclosed this at the National Action on Africa Continental Free Trade Area’s (AfCFTA) Nasarawa State Sub-national Re-engement Workshop held in Lafia.
Kana added that Nasarawa State total size is about 27,000 square kilometres which most of it are arable, and all what the state needed was to sacrifice 270,000 hectres for the purpose of purely commercial agriculture in order to have enough foreign exchange for the state.
He said: “As we speak now, Dangote Group has taken 70,000 hectres, Flour Mills of Nigeria has taken 20,000, Olam Farm was on 9,000 and Azman has taken 14,000. So from our target of 270,000 hectres planned to be allocated purely for industrial commercial agriculture, we have given out nearly a 100,000 already.
“So in order words, we are still looking for investors in the area of agricultural industrialization that will take the remaining 170,000 hectres. That is 10% of our total land in Nasarawa State.”
Kana expressed optimism that if the 270,000 hectres are put purely for industrial agriculture, the entire value chain would employ a minimum of 100,000 youths in the state both through direct and indirect employment.
Speaking to journalists during the Nasarawa State AfCFTA Sub-national Re-engement Workshop, leader of the National Action Committee on AfCFTA, Mr Babafemi Lawal, believed that Nasarawa has vast proportion of its land as arable which agriculture would be one of the priorities of the state, perhaps to be a hub for agriculture and agriculture products in Africa.
Lawal stated further that the mission of AfCFTA in Nasarawa State was to support the state to develop its strategy towards building an implementation plan under the AfCFTA.
“Nasarawa State is one of the leading states in these efforts. There are so many areas of investment that the state can look at. Our mission is to help them identify priorities, set these priorities properly and then be able to effectively implement these priorities,” he maintained.
The AfCFTA Focal Person for Nasarawa State, Mrs Viva Angbazo Musa, when speaking to journalists at the workshop, said with the coming in of AfCTA, there was intention to make the state a single market so that all the commodities that are within the continent, the state would pick which suits best for it wether in agriculture or mining.
“So we are going to pinpoint and streamline those products that best suits Nasarawa State and then export it to the world,” she explained.