Kogi is capable of generating over 10,000 job opportunities from investments in cashew production and processing, says Mr Solomon Yizogembi, a consultant with Synergos Nigeria.
Yizogembi disclosed this on Thursday at the State Partnership for Agriculture (SPA) Agriculture Vision Group (AVG) and Agriculture Innovation Group (AIG) monthly meeting organised by Synergos Nigeria in Lokoja.
The consultant said that cashew farmers in the state produced more than 10 per cent of all the cashew produced in Nigeria and was likely to create additional 10,000 direct and indirect jobs along its value chain. He said that a 150,000-tonnes investment window for cashew products existed and urged investors to explore and exploit the opportunity, describing Kogi as a viable investment destination. Yizogembi said that cashew production and market in the state was growing very fast with potential and promises of high returns in investments.
He said that the state Ministry of Agriculture, Kogi State University (KSU) and the Agricultural Development Project (ADP) were ready to partner with investors willing to invest on cashew in the state. As part of investment incentives in the cashew value chain, he said the state government had approved a five-year tax holiday for investors.
The incentives, according to him, also include duty-free import and export of equipment and export of produce as well as assistance in addressing processing constraints.
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The consultant said that in view of the high demand for the cashew nuts, early investors were likely to enjoy a high level monopoly.
Earlier in her opening address, Miss Esther Joshua, Synergos Field Assistant in the state, said the objective of the meeting was to update and validate the review of Agriculture Investment Plan (AIP) of the SPA.
She said that efforts were being made to attract investors to invest in the SPA four major crops of intervention including rice, cassava, cashew and sesame seeds, to drive the state agribusiness initiative.
Joshua urged stakeholders to always step down trainings in their various MDAs, saying that the action plan of the AVG/AIG meeting was centred on step-down of trainings on Value Chain Development.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the AVG and AIG groups comprised members drawn from Fadama Office, AFAN, ADP, Federal and state Ministries of Agriculture; Commerce, Women Affairs, SWOFON KOCCIMA and the Academia.