Jos To Host 1st International Potato Expo
Preparations for the 1st Edition of the International Potato Value Chain and other root crops conference and Exhibition has advanced, as stakeholders from across the globe are set to gather in Jos, the Plateau State capital, to appraise the issues, challenges and solutions to the mass production of Potato in Nigeria.
The theme of the Expo is “Repositioning Potato and Root Crops Agri-business: Issues, Challenges and Solutions”.
According to a statement by the MD/CEO ABG Paulas, Ambrose Okojie, the scope of the expo scheduled for November this year covers- Production, Processing, Preservation, Packaging and Promotions of Potato and other root crops such as yam, carrots, Cocoyam etc. in Plateau state and Nigeria in general.
Partners to the Expo are GRIMME-Germany (Member of German Agribusiness Alliance under the leadership of Frank Nordmann- Co-Chair-German Business Alliance, the European Investors interested in buying Nigerian Irish Potato as well as over 25 equipment manufacturers from German Agribusiness Alliance.
Already the Expo, expected to assemble the best brains in Nigeria’s Agricultural sector is structured as a three day event, with the Plateau State government, the African Union, the German Agribusiness Alliance among the early endorsers.
According to the organisers of the Expo ABG Paulas Resources Limited, a Nigerian German based company the conference and exhibition aims supporting the Plateau State government to succeed in promoting broad based economic empowerment of the farmers of Plateau state, especially those involved in the cultivation of Potato and other root crops.
Barring any hitch, the Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, GCON is expected to declare the exhibition open, with the Plateau State Governor, Hon. Barr Simon Lalong as the Chief Host.
During the talk-shop participants would appraise and recommend the best global practices on how to improve the value chain of Potato and other root crops, using cotton age process technology. At the moment, Potato farming is still at subsistence level in Nigeria, due to lack of innovative solutions and application of mechanized methods to change the narrative.
The Organisers of the Expo believe that introducing modern methods of mass production and preservation of Potato will enrich the finances of the farmers, improve yields, create massive jobs for the youths and by extension, impact positively on all those involved in the value chain, comprising of the production of Potato for consumption, manufacturing of potato products for industrial processing and the marketing of fresh Potato and Potato products.
Currently, Nigeria is the 4th largest producer of Potato in the sub-Saharan Africa with Plateau state contributing the highest number of the products in Nigeria, followed by Mambila in Taraba State and Obudu Hills in Cross River Basin. Over 843,000 tons of Potato are produced annually in Nigeria.