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N3.38bn AfDB facility to boost potato production in Plateau

The Ministry of Finance has secured a N3.38 billion loan for Plateau State for the mass production and development of the Irish potato value chain.

Irish potatoes

Briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meetings on Wednesday, July 26 2017, Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, said the loan was secured from the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the development of the Irish potato value chain, and that the project is expected to create 60,000 jobs.

Adeosun revealed that Plateau State would be providing N599 million as counterpart funding for the project.

Adeosun disclosed that the loan has a five years moratorium thereafter whatever remained of the loan would be paid at the rate of 1% in 20 years.

She said the loan would be used to develop the Irish potatoes value chain in 17 local local government areas of the state.

The implementation would be jointly executed by FADAMA project and a unit in the state Ministry of Agricuture. About 70 percent of the loan would be used for the provision of infrasture, extension services, impoved planting and marketing.

The whole exercise according to the minister is aimed at boosting production and minimising wastages.

It was gathered that the idea was muted during the President Goodluck Jonathan’s government by former Minister of Agricuture, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, for the development of the value chain for selected roots and tubers in the country. Adesina is currently head of AfDB.

Plateau State is Nigeria’s largest producer of Irish potatoes.

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