NEPC to improve farmers’ capacity for increased market access

To further aid the nation’s economic recovery through the non-oil export sector, the Nigerian Export promotion Council (NEPC), has expressed government’s commitment to enhance technical skills of smallholder farmers in acid to improve their access to global markets.

According to the NEPC, the federal government remains committed to the development of the non-oil export sector as the last defence of the economy.

Acting Chief Executive Officer, NEPC, Abdullahi Sidi-Aliyu, made the assertion on Wednesday at a forum in Ogun State.
Sidi-Aliyu, represented by Mrs Evelyn Obidike, Deputy Director, Policy and Strategy, NEPC, made the remark during the Council’s, Equipment Presentation and Training on Best Practices in Cashew Processing for Value Addition and Food Safety.
He said the National Economic Council in 2017, established the National Committee on Export Promotion, to ensure effective coordination of the Zero Oil Plan in all the 36 states.

“The Zero Oil Plan is the Council’s roadmap to building an economy that does not depend on foreign exchange from crude oil.

“It is captured in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the Federal Government as a veritable tool for economic emancipation,” he said.

He noted that the last recession was caused by a $30 to $40billion yearly deficit in the nation’s foreign exchange earnings arising from low oil prices.

“Nigeria must replace these lost revenues in order to sustain economic growth, stabilise the naira, sustain federal and state government income and boost employment,” he said.

Sidi-Aliyu said to achieve its purpose, government rendered support to enhance the technical skills of smallholder producers of agricultural produce.

According to him, cocoa, cashew, and sesame seed were used in the pilot scheme training to complement NEPC’s collaboration with the Centre for the Promotion of Import from Developing Countries (CBI), Netherlands.
He said that NEPC/CBI project discovered that addressing challenges of farmers.