News The African Way

Nigeria: Plateau Records Increase in LGAs Producing Irish Potatoes


By Martha Agas

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) says Plateau has recorded an increase in the number of communities and local government areas producing Irish potatoes.

The Regional Coordinator, NEPC North-Central, Mr Samson Idowu, who stated this during the first quarter meeting of the State Committee on Export Promotion (SCEP) on Thursday in Jos, said the development was providing the right groundwork for export.

“There used to be about seven local governments producing potatoes, but we currently have 13,” he said.

To facilitate exporting potato which is Plateau’s adopted One-State One-product(OSOP) commodity, increasing quantity of production is crucial because export is volume driven, he said.

He added that all-year production was also required to achieve the feat.

He said that the increase in the producing areas was recorded through NEPC’s efforts in creating awareness on the possibility of cultivating potatoes in many communities in Plateau.

He added that the increase was also enhanced by the support of the Nigerian Root Crops Research Institute in distributing improved varieties of the crop to prevent losses through diseases.

“NEPC also encouraged processing of the product through facilitating opportunities and partnering with the Technology Incubation Centre to encourage youths to go into processing of the commodity as a source of livelihood,” he added.

The official said that NEPC organised 14 trainings on good agricultural practices for 1,794 Plateau people in 2022.

Areas covered by the training included the cultivation of potatoes, soya beans, rice, shea butter, and ensuring global competitiveness on solid minerals.

He said that the training also taught youths how they could harness the potentials in the non-oil areas.

“We introduced them to best practices in production and processing of these commodities and how to mitigate various challenges confronting them,” he said.

Idowu said that the meeting was to deliberate on its 2023 work plan to ensure the implementation of the OSOP value chain development model.

He said that the meeting also considered ways to position Plateau to be among the selected states in the council’s plan to establish more domestic warehouses nationwide, to ease export operations.

Earlier in his remarks, the Commissioner of Commerce and Industry, Mr Idris Gambo, had thanked NEPC for its support in encouraging the development of the state’s mineral and agricultural product for export.

He assured NEPC of the state’s support in the discharge of its duties. (NAN).

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