By Charles Nwaoguji
The Federal Government is to assist small-scale industries and agro-food processors with the provision of up-to-date technologies so as to scale up their production and reduce poverty.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu disclosed this when he received members of the Association of Food and Agro Processors who paid him a courtesy call in his office In Abuja on Thursday.
According to Dr. Onu, the provision of requisite technology to micro industries will ensure safe industrial operation and increase productivity thereby creating more jobs for Nigerian youths.
Dr. Onu also said that the Federal Government will create a large army of micro entrepreneurs in the country in line with President Buhari’s agenda to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030.
Dr. Onu further pledged to support food and agro processors with relevant innovation to enhance processing of agricultural products like fruits, vegetables and cereals so as to ensure their availability all-year round.
‘’ In fact, reducing post-harvest losses of our farmers is a major cardinal mandate of the Ministry’’ the Minister added.
With increasing population, according to Dr. Onu, there would be more mouths to feed necessitating the need to reduce agricultural wastages through technological innovation.
The Minister further said that the Ministry will further ensure conversion of research outputs by its agencies into products and services so as to assist in economic diversification.
He commended the Association for creating employment opportunities for teeming Nigerian youths and urged the President to continue mentoring Nigerian youths in establishment of micro-enterprises.
Earlier, the President of the Association of Food and Agro Processors and Chairman Spectra Foods Lagos Ltd, Chief Duro Kuteyi, said his association seeks closer collaboration with the Ministry and her agencies so as to improve the food processing industry in the country.
He appealed to the Minister to assist the association with relevant technologies in processing her products so as to reduce post-harvest losses.
If this is done, there would be enough food for Nigerians and positive economic growth, he added.