In line with its standardization policy, the Kaduna State Government in collaboration with the private sector is working at ensuring acceptable standards of products worldwide by providing cleaning equipment and warehouses/silos across the state.
Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry, Professor Kabiru Mato disclosed this while delivering the keynote address at a one-day workshop on reduction of substandard goods in Nigeria/improvement of agricultural produce for export, organized by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in Kaduna.
He explained that his ministry will build sustainable partnerships with relevant agencies of government and other stakeholders in the private sector with a view to exploiting abundant natural and human resources for the benefit of the state.
“Despite being an agrarian economy, most of the state’s produce are bought by merchants usually at low prices and subsequently processed to standards that attract better premium for export.
“This workshop is therefore timely as our farmers will be taught how to produce to an acceptable quality for export. This will not only enable farmers get premium prices for their produce, it will also serve as a source of revenue for the state,” he said.
Professor Mato stressed that the Kaduna State Government runs similar workshops and seminars annually to sensitize value chain actors on selected agricultural commodities with a view to developing and boosting the production, processing, marketing and consumption of those commodities for economic development of the state.
“This sensitization is usually with respect to agricultural commodities in which the state has a comparative advantage such as maize, ginger, wheat, tomato and soya beans,” he added.
He pointed out that the state government was also evolving policies at all levels that will encourage local entrepreneurs by creating the enabling environment and incentives.
“Some of the measures include: capacity building, tax incentives, infrastructure and production subsidy,” he noted.
He praised the organizers and the participants at the workshop for attending.
“I want to express my gratitude on behalf of the Government of Kaduna State to farmers of the state for their support and specially appreciate the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and Noveltech Solution Limited for their foresight in organizing this workshop which I strongly believe will go a long way in the reduction of substandard goods and improving the production of agricultural products for export,” he said, praying that it would result to a more competitive and sustainable viable state of agriculture.