Nigeria’s Governor Simon Lalong in northcentral Plateau state, has said the steps taken by government to increase the production of Irish Potatoes will boost the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), as well as create additional 60,000 new jobs.
Lalong stated this at the ground breaking and foundation laying for the construction of Potato Tissue Culture Laboratory in Tam, Mangu LGA of Plateau State at the weekend.
“This project is anchored on the promotion of Agriculture Investment, Financing Agricultural Development and Research for Agricultural Innovation and Productivity, all tailored towards increase on sustainable basis of smallholder farmers and rural entrepreneurs engaged in production, processing, storage and marketing, as well as job creation in which 60,000 jobs will be created, out of which 50 per cent are women, with a view to ensuring food security.
“The construction of the Potato Seed Tissue Culture Laboratory in the state will, therefore, address the problem of low-yielding Potato varieties and provide good quality seed. The output of Potato production had greatly reduced over the years due to the Potato blight disease and degenerated seeds”, Lalong said.
Sky News Africa recalls that the African Development Bank (AFDB) had granted a facility of about $3.38 million to the Plateau state government with a view to boosting the state’s great potentials in the mass production of Irish Potatoes for export.
It was however made possible under the auspices of the Potato Value Chain Support Project of the African Development Bank, which translates that in no distance future, the state government will be exporting to other countries of the world, not only Irish Potatoes but also its allied products from the Potato Value Chain.
Our correspondent reports that the project is part of the potato value chain funded by the African Development Bank, the Nigerian government and the Plateau State Government.