Stories by Matthew Denis
The Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has identified Kwara as the highest producer of cashew nut and Soya beans in the country.
This was revealed during an Export awareness seminar for about 100 local exporters and potential exporters held at Queen Hall, Unity Road Ilorin on Tuesday.
Speaking at the event, the Trade Promotion Adviser of NEPC in Kwara State, Mr. Andrew Okhiulu said the state is endowed with many mineral resources that can be transformed for export quality to generate income for individuals and state.
“Kwara State is the highest producer of cashew. Presently in the country, the derivatives from cashew alone is enormous. The state is also the highest producer of soya beans and these are two notable products apart from maize and cassava.
“We also have a very large terrain of arable land that can be used to cultivate some of these products and enhance export. We are trying to drive at a system where we can have producers (Farmers), processors and exporters for the value chain products.
Speaking on essence of the event, he said “The programme is aimed at sensitising and training exporters and potential exporters on the nitty-gritty of the procedures, terms and rules of export business.
“We are looking at encouraging people to participate in the export business, thereby generating more income for the country and improving our balance of payment as these products being exported are showcasing the quality that we have.
“We also discovered that we are improving the qualities of our products because it’s competing with other products outside the country,” he further said.
He noted that export increases foreign exchange and income to improve the economy.
Okhiulu added that, “We are creating more employment for entrepreneurs, small and medium scale enterprises and other businesses in that category.”
In his remarks, the state Commissioner for Commerce and Cooperatives, Deacon Babatunde Agboola urged local exporters to approach government agencies for assistance to enhance their activities
He called on the entrepreneurs to avail themselves of the opportunities, adding that the state is blessed with abundant resources that could be exported.