The Federal Government announced a collaboration with BKG Exhibitions Limited to hold an International Oil Palm Technology, Agric Tech, Cassava Africa Expo and Conference, dubbed PAC Africa Expo & Conference, to unleash the potentials of oil palm and cassava products for long-term economic prosperity.
Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Minister of Industries, Trade and Investment, made the announcement this weekend when Mr. Ifeanyichukwu Agwu, Chief Executive Officer of BKG Exhibitions, escorted some members of the PAC Africa Expo & Conference organizing team on a courtesy visit to the Minister.
According to Otunba Adebayo, the proposed expo, which will be held from the 2nd to the 5th of November 2021 at the Nicon Luxury Hotel in Abuja and organized by BKG Exhibitions in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Industries, Trade and Investment, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Raw Materials, Research and Development Council, and other related government agencies, will have the theme: Agric Business in the 21st Century: Unlocking the Potentials of Oil Palm and Cassava P
The Minister lamented that, despite being a world leader in cassava production, Nigeria is not an active player in cassava trade in the international market, despite the fact that available statistics show that the country is a leading producer of cassava, with a production capacity of 45 million metric tons per year, valued at approximately $18 billion.
He said, “Cassava and Oil palm are strategic commodities in our quest for growth and development of the non-oil sector of our economy. Available statistics points to the fact that Nigeria is a leading producer of cassava with a production capacity of 45 million metric tons per annum, estimated at about 18 billion US Dollars, thus, accounting for a fifth of the world’s cassava production followed by Thailand, Indonesia, Brazil, Ghana, Congo and others. However, though a world leader in cassava production, Nigeria is not an active player in cassava trade in the international market”
The Minister also recalled that Nigeria has maintained a leading position in the Global production of palm produce within the year 1950 to 1960 and controlled well over 45% of the Global market but at present, ranks 26th in Global production, stressing that ‘this is a clear indication that the fortunes of both commodities are declining drastically’.
He reiterated that the Conference will bring together experts from diverse fields in the Oil Palm, Cassava, Agricultural Technology and allied industries to discuss, educate, review and make informed inputs on current trends on Global Best Practices and technology geared towards the development of the Commodities in Nigeria.
Earlier, Ifeanyichukwu Agwu, the Chief Executive Officer of BKG Exhibitions Limited, told the Minister that preparations are in top gear to ensure a successful outing during the conference.
According to Agwu, well over 300 local companies have been invited for the expo, adding that the committee is in talks with the Immigration Service to facilitate easy entry to Nigeria for the many international organizations that would be coming from Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil, Ghana, among others countries.
Agwu called on the Minister to bring on board states governments who would ensure easy acquisition of lands for the investors who shall be willing to invest in Nigeria’s cassava, and oil palm sub sector.
“We seek the Ministry’s support in the area of speaking to the governors with a view to making lands easily available for agric investment. Our findings show that 24 states in Nigeria grow palm and our intention is to harness this for greater economic sustainability. Oil Palm is said to be more costly in the international market than even the crude oil” he said.
He said the proposed expo is third in the series with the first and second held in Enugu and Owerri respectively.