Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has tasked potato farmers in Plateau State on the need to produce high quality crop to meet the global export requirements.
The Executive Director of NEPC, Dr Ezra Yakusak, gave the charge during its one-day strategic engagement of stakeholders in Irish Potato production on Wednesday in Bokkos, Jos – south Local Government Area of the state.
Represented by the Deputy Director of the National Export Office, Mr Samson Monehin, Yakusak called for intensive development and promotion of the product.
He said that Irish potato is a product that suits the category of “quick- win products’’ by its export potentials hence the need to promote it as part of the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP).
“The main purpose of the initiative is to have an economy that does not depend on a single drop of oil revenue to survive.
“The realisation of this dream is premised on massive production and marketing of pre-qualified and selected products in targeted markets.
“It is our belief that Irish Potato, by its production and export potentials, belongs to this category of quick-win products that should be targeted for intensive development and promotion’’ he said.
The executive director urged stakeholders to take advantage of the training and exposure being given to them to boost the productivity and export chances of the potato commodity.
“We feel that there is therefore, the need to further enhance your capacity to produce high quality crop that would attract premium prices at the international market.
“This is with a view to boosting your export in line with the focus of Zero-Oil Plan.
“It is also to upscale our game for a better share of the Potato export market that this programme is being held,’’ he said.
Yakusak said that potato is the One State One product (OSOP) for Plateau State.
Also speaking, the Regional Coordinator and Co-host of the event, Mr Samson Idowu, urged participants to make good use of the opportunity to better their lots and invariably that of the nation.
Chairman of Bokkos Local Government Area, Mr Joseph Guluwak, some traditional rulers as well as potato farmers and marketers from across the state attended the event .