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Plateau State gets N3.38bn to boost potatoe production

Reports indicates that the federal executive council yesterday approved a memo seeking an equivalent of N3.38 bn African Development Bank loan for Plateau state to produce potatoes.

Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun told State House reporters after the FEC meeting that the state ought to contribute a N595 million counterpart fund.
The minister described the economic approval as an important economic development for the nation and the state, saying this would impact on 17 local government councils especially on job creation.
She said: “My approval was on behalf of Plateau state to support the potatoe value chain. There is a loan that we had previously cancelled from the ADB. We cancelled it and redirected the money to request on behalf of Plateau State government to support the potatoe value chain.
The rational is that Plateau actually accounts for 95% of Nigeria’s potatoe production and from Plateau, potatoes are actually exported to Ghanaian, Chad, Niger and other countries and despite that there are huge profit loses because there is no enough storage and there is so much more we could do with Plateau’s Potatoes.
It was also gathered that ADB has come up with a comprehensive program that with affect over 100,000 families. It is expected to create 60,000 jobs in a potatoe value chain from processing storage, replacement of current input and indeed export. Now the terms of the loan are 1% interest rate per annum and it has 25 years moratorium. Plateau State will provide counterpart funding and the balance will be borrowed.