NEPZA, Farmcrowdy Plan Special Economic Zone for Agriculture
The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) and Farmcrowdy, the country’s first digital agriculture platform, are currently in talks over the establishment of an agriculture special economic zone for Nigeria.
The announcement followed a meeting between the Managing Director/Chief Executive, NEPZA, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba and the Farmcrowdy boss, Mr. Onyeka Akuma after a courtesy visit by the latter to present the company’s plans of adding value through agriculture products processing and expansion of the sector through a special zone.
Akuma said it’s high time Nigeria increased its non-oil exports and earn the much needed foreign exchange in a more diversified economy, stressing that his company is “poised to go to the next level of our organisational development by looking at using the special economic Zones to actualise our dream,”
He said Farmcrowdy plans to play an important role in the export of processed agricultural products to other African countries as soon as the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCTA) commences.
African leaders had moved the implementation of the AFCTA to January 2021 after failing to meet July 2020 timeline because of the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adesugba however, expressed the agency’s readiness to partner with the company towards the actualization of the special economic zone for agriculture, describing Farmcrowdy as “an innovative firm with great contribution to agricultural business in Nigeria”.
The NEPZA boss said:”“I have known Onyeka Akuma as a trailblazer in revolutionizing agriculture through the use of technology and crowdfunding since the inception of Farmcrowdy.
“Nigeria is paying special attention to agricultural development in order to feed an ever growing population, create jobs and generate wealth to eradicate poverty.
“The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, NEPZA is ready to support Farmcrowdy in its plan to set up an Agriculture Special Economic Zone.”
He further expressed confidence in the ability of the young Nigerians in the company to make great things happen in the sector.
Adesugba also restated his commitment to transform the authority into a truly investors’ service entity to multiply foreign direct investment in the country.
Launched in 2016, Farmcrowdy is the country’s first digital agriculture platform that empowers rural farmers by providing them with improved seeds, farm inputs, training on modern farming techniques provides a market for the sale of their farm produce.