Nigeria is set to organise an International Cassava, Oil Palm Technology and Agric-Tech Africa Expo and Conference to help Nigeria harvest opportunities in the $18 billion cassava and $92 billion oil palm industries.
The federal government will collaborate with BKG Exhibitions Limited to stage the 3rd edition of the conference and exhibition to unlock the potentials of oil Palm and cassava produce for sustainable economic growth.
The Minister of Industries, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, revealed this weekend when Mr Ifeanyichukwu Agwu, the Chief Executive Officer of BKG Exhibitions, led some members of the organising committee of PAC Africa Expo & Conference scheduled to hold next month (November) 2021 in Abuja, on a courtesy visit to the minister.
Mr Adebayo said the proposed expo is organised by BKG Exhibitions in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Industries, Trade and Investment, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Raw Materials, Research and Development Council and other related agencies of government.
The conference which would examine; “Agric Business in the 21st Century: Unlocking the Potentials of Oil Palm and Cassava Produce for Sustainable Economic Growth,” is expected to bring together experts and actors in 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.
The Minister said although Nigeria was the leading producer of cassava with 45 million metric tons per annum, estimated at about $18 billion, it is not an active player in cassava trade in the international market.
“Cassava and Oil palm are strategic commodities in our quest for growth and development of the non-oil sector of our economy.
“Available statistics point 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”
On oil palm, the Minister recalled that between 1950 to 1960 Nigeria had maintained a leading position in the global production of palm produce, controlling over 45% of the global market but has since lost that position, adding that; “this is a clear indication that the fortunes of both commodities are declining drastically.”
Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer of BKG Exhibitions Limited told the Minister that plans have been concluded to ensure a successful expo and conference.
Mr Agwu said over 300 local companies have been invited for the expo, adding that the committee was in talk with the Nigeria Immigration Service to facilitate easy entry to Nigeria for the many international organisations that would be coming from Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil, Ghana, among others countries.
The first and second series of the event were held in Enugu and Owerri respectively.