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Nigeria wants to be among the top three potato producers in the world by 2025

Mustapha Baba Shehuri, minister of state for agriculture and rural development: 'Nigeria will be among world’s top three potato producers by 2025'

Mustapha Baba Shehuri, minister of state for agriculture and rural development, says Nigeria will be among the world’s top three potato producing countries by 2025. Shehuri said this on Thursday at the 1st International Potato Value-Chain and Root Crops Conference and Exhibition held in Jos, Plateau state capital.

Mustapha Baba Shehuri:
 
"It’s a known fact that Nigeria has a comparative advantage in the production of root and tuber crops. In reality, the country leads in the production of yam, cassava and sweet potatoes in Africa, presently the 7th highest producer of Irish potatoes production."

"With these types of initiatives, we are on the course to be among the top three world producers by 2025. The ministry is also aware of the huge investment opportunities that exist within the Irish potato value chain."
He said that the ministry had identified the challenges confronting the high yield of the product as poor seed, disease infestation, inadequate storage facilities and mechanisation. The challenges, he said, should be addressed at both the federal and state level.

Shehuri explained that some of the measures taken to tackle the challenges include the establishment of a tissue culture centre at the National Root Crop Research Institute (NRCRI) sub-station in Jos to solve seed problems.

Others include a 20-hectare irrigated land to support seed multiplication as well as a 10-ton cold storage facility currently being built in the station.

Mustapha Baba Shehuri:
 
"In addition, two cottage factories have been constructed at Pankshin and Bokkos local government areas to support processors in the state to address post-harvest losses."
The minister said these have been done in recognition of Plateau state as the highest producer of Irish potatoes in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa. Shehuri also recognised the efforts of other potato producing states such as Adamawa, Kano, Kaduna, Cross River, among others.
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