The FCT Administration has expressed readiness to partner with Jigawa State Government towards developing agricultural value chains, with a view to boosting domestic market and the quality of food commodities being circulated within both local and international markets.
The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello made this disclosure when he received a delegation from the Jigawa State Government, led by its Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Hassan
Bello, who said the FCT Administration is working on developing farmers market within various locations, disclosed that the initiative would include facilities for cold storage of meat and fish in the FCT. He advised the delegation to commence immediate discussions with the investment arm of the FCTA to key into this project, while giving assurances that land would be made available where required, depending on the specific needs
The Minister praised Jigawa for being in the forefront of ICT development in the Northern states, saying the current Federal Government’s Galaxy Backbone ICT Company moved into Jigawa years before many other states knew about them and has been able to develop quality products in the sector.
Malam Bello also noted that Jigawa is one of the drivers of the rice and the fertilizer value-chain in the country, adding that the FCT Administration is studying the rice value-chain of Jigawa to reproduce same in the FCT.
Earlier in his remarks, the Deputy Governor said, Jigawa is blessed with a lot of fertile land and many agricultural commodities, adding that the state is currently the number one in Sesame and Hibiscus production which is being sold locally and at the international market.
Jigawa is a leader in the export of Hibiscus in such outlets as Mexico indicating that the government was aggressively pursuing quality control to achieve global best practices in the production and processing of these commodities.
Hassan said the export license terminal set up by the State Government in conjunction with some Turkish investors has helped to ensure 99.8 percent purity of these products, thereby dispelling the notion that nothing of good quality comes from Nigeria. He said other parts of the country as well as neighbouring countries, are now taking advantage of the first-class processing equipment for Sesame set up in Jigawa.
The Deputy Governor said Jigawa State would like to leverage the purchasing power of the FCT markets by setting up structures to ensure that best quality vegetables and livestock products are distributed to high end supermarkets as well as other markets within the FCT.
According to him, “We are here to look at the possibility of engaging with the FCT directly or indirectly to look at setting up cold storage locations within the Federal Capital, so that you have a situation where most of these commodities will be distributed on wholesale basis and that will give rise to retail outlets all across the FCT.
“We are looking at either plastic crates or some kind of insulating material that will ensure that these things are temperature controlled and transported, graded from source. The high end will find its way to supermarkets. There is a middleclass will find its way to markets and there will even be dried products. We have during facilities to introduce dry produce as something new we believe will catch up.
Chief Press Secretary