Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Lagos — Nigeria plans to establish a $1bn crop-processing park with Turkish investors in the country’s north as part of efforts to improve value and boost agricultural exports, according to the country’s investment-promotion agency.

The Badeggi Crop Processing Zone in Niger state is expected to start in June 2017, with an initial investment of $250m by a Turkish investor, deputy director at Abuja-based Nigerian Investment Promotion Council, Aminu Takuma, said in an October 30 interview.

Additional funds of $800m would follow and the investor would operate the park on completion, he said, without identifying the Turkish partner, citing confidentiality obligations.

The facility will process more than 750,000 tonnes of crops including rice, maize, yam, cassava, groundnuts and peas every year, according to the agency. The government plans to set up 15 similar crop zones across the country of more than 180-million people, including one in Lagos, the country’s commercial capital.

President Muhammadu Buhari is trying to end the country’s dependence on oil as it emerges from its worst economic slump in 25 years, caused by a drop in the output and price of crude, which accounts for more than 90% of foreign income.

The government’s economic growth plan seeks to increase the contribution of agriculture to GDP to more than 8% by 2020, from about 4% this year.

Goods will be transported from the crop-processing zone through the nearby Baro inland port on the Niger River, taking them down to the coast for shipment abroad, Takuma said.

Bloomberg

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