The Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) initiative of the African Development Bank (AfDB) complements similar Oyo State Government-facilitated Public-Private-Development Partnerships (PPDP) aimed at developing agribusiness enabling infrastructure for the private sector, the Director General of the Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA), Dr Debo Akande has said.

Dr Akande made the declaration on Monday following a high-level virtual meeting hosted by Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning Dr Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, with representatives of the AfDB, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and other participants in the scheme.

Dr Akande said the SAPZ together with the nine Agribusiness Industrial Hubs being constructed across Oyo State will enhance access to productive resources and infrastructure and boost agro-industrial value-added and employment along the entire agribusiness value chain in agriculture, industry and services.

“The Special Agro-industrial Processing Zone project will further enhance the ongoing Agribusiness Industrial Hub projects in Oyo State as more Agribusiness Processing Zones will be developed to boost productivity and economic development,” Dr Debo said.

The Nigeria Special Agro-industrial Processing Zone programme is a flagship initiative of the AfDB’s ‘Feed Africa’ strategic priority.

The SPAZ aims to provide wholesale solutions and services that de-risk production, processing, and marketing operations of private sector actors as they boost manufacturing and transformation capacity in production areas.

Oyo State is one of 7 states and the Federal Capital Territory selected to participate in Phase 1 of the scheme which will be launched in January 2022.

In March, a delegation of the AfDB and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) was in Oyo State to appraise preparations and inspect the 300-hectare site proposed to host the SAPZ project in Atan community in Akinyele LGA.

The SAPZ adds to the Agro-Industrial Hubs currently being developed by the Oyo State government as part of OYSADA’s Regional Agribusiness Development Programme.

The 1,200-hectare Fashola Agribusiness Hub which is currently under development and two other hubs are expected to come on stream by end of Q2, 2022.

By 2023, OYSADA expects to have completed a total of five industrial hubs across the State, creating sixty thousand jobs and boosting Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) by N10 billion annually.

It is estimated that 20-30 agribusinesses with a market value of 16 to 31 billion naira will have invested in the state within the next two years leading to the production of 50 value-added Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs) and the substitution of 2-10% of national food imports.