The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (FMAFS), in collaboration with the Green Innovation Centre for the Agriculture and Food Sector and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), along with other relevant partners, has unveiled the National Potato Strategy (NPS) for the period 2023-2028. This strategy aims to elevate potato production to a commercially viable sub-sector within the Agricultural Value Chains, increase export earnings, and enhance food and nutrition security in the agricultural sector.
According to a press release by Ezeaja Ikemefuna, Assistant Director of Information at the Ministry, the launch event took place in Jos, Plateau State. Dr. Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe, the Permanent Secretary of FMAFS, represented by Engr. Abdullahi Abubakar, the Director of the Federal Department of Agriculture, emphasized that the strategy would stimulate economic growth through various agricultural value chain activities, create employment opportunities, and improve the livelihoods of youth and women.
Umakihihe stated that food and nutrition security were top priorities for the Ministry, and they were committed to achieving these goals through extensive production, processing, value addition, and product development to drive the agricultural industries.
The Permanent Secretary highlighted Nigeria’s strong comparative advantage in potato production and pointed out that potatoes could be commercially grown in 12 states, which holds great potential for numerous stakeholders. He expressed confidence that the National Potato Strategy would serve as a catalyst for Nigeria’s aspiration to attain food and nutrition security.
Umakihihe commended the contributions of GIZ’s Global Programmes “Green Innovation Centres for the Agriculture and Food Sector-Nigeria” and other stakeholders in developing the National Potato Strategy Document for 2023-2028.
The Governor of Plateau State, Barr. Caleb Muftwang, represented by the State Commissioner of Agriculture, Hon. Bugama Samson, pledged the state’s collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to implement this important program.
Markus Wagner, the Country Director of the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), emphasized their long-standing partnership with Nigeria in promoting sustainable economic development and transforming the Agri-Food System. He encouraged the commitment of all stakeholders to implement the strategic pillars of the National Potato Strategy and transform it from a document into a catalyst for positive change.
The event also featured the official launch of the National Potato Strategy for 2023-2028 and was attended by various stakeholders, including the Hon. Commissioner of Agriculture for Plateau State, the National Potato Multi-Stakeholder Platform, and the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), among others.