By Jimoh Babatunde
The Minister of State for Agriculture, Mr Heineken Lokpobiri, has called for sizeable investment in food processing in the country as the government is prepared to grant incentives to such investors to make the nation earn foreign exchange as well as feed the populace.
Lokpobiri made the appeal yesterday during his tour of Atlantic Shrimpers Ltd’s Shrimp Farm in Badagry, Lagos State.
While commending the company for its massive investment in the shrimp farm, Lokpobiri said that the ministry would ensure that the project succeeded.
He said the ministry was interested in seeing the shrimps in markets overseas labelled as Made-In-Nigeria, adding that the ministry would also ensure that the shrimps were exported to China and Russia that needed the products by fast-tracking the certification process and regulating it.
L-R: Minister of State for Agriculture, Heineken Lokpobiri; Agricultural Resources Minister, Audu Ogbe; Head of Service to the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita and the Minister for Environment, Aminat Mohammed discussing during the Federal Executive Council chaired by Ag. President Yemi Osinbajo at the State House, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida
Lokpobiri added that the Ministry would soon start certification of agricultural produce and products before export.
According to him, it is disheartening to know that yam export from Ghana is acceptable internationally, while the same yam exported from Nigeria is rejected.
Mr Kamlesh Kabra, the Managing Director of Atlantic Shrimpers Ltd., said that the shrimp farm was to give them the opportunity to culture shrimps and produce more to satisfy local consumption and export.
Kabra said the company had been a big player in the fishing industry with over 70 trawlers providing jobs for more that 1,000 Nigerians.
He said that the shrimp farm was capable of employing over 400 people.