The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) says Nigeria imports over 320, 000 metric tonnes of glucose syrup annually.
The Director General of the council, Prof. Hussaini Ibrahim, made the disclosure on Monday in Katsina at the inauguration of a one-day workshop on Investment Opportunities of Some Strategic Crops and Safe Use of Pesticides and Agrochemicals by farmers in Katsina State.
Ibrahim said that: “In view of the increasing demand of glucose syrup by the food, soft drinks and confectioneries, Nigeria imports over 320,000 metric tons of this product with only about 26 per cent of it being produced in the country.
“To reduce the amount expended by the country on importation of glucose syrup, the council commenced the development of sweet sorghum value chain for the production of glucose syrup and ethanol in 2017.
“Today, it will interest you to know that the development of the processing technology and fabrication of processing equipment is completed’’.
Ibrahim, who was represented by Dr Bolarinwa Olugbemi, the Director, Agriculture and Agro Raw Materials, said that the council had established linkage with some of the user industries in the country for collaboration with a view to stimulate investment in the value-chain.
He said that the council was collaborating with Katsina State government to promote investment opportunities in cashew, sweet sorghum, sugar beet and beans.
The D-G noted that the council would also train farmers on Safe Use of Pesticides and Agrochemicals to improve their import quality.
He said this would assist to reduce poverty, create job opportunities and achieve economic development of the state.
Ibrahim added that the Federal Government had established a Quality Control and Standardisation Department and Zero Reject Committee with a view to ensure acceptance of produce exported from the country.
Also speaking, Gov. Aminu Masari, said that the state was desirous of having qualified and experienced agricultural staff to encourage productivity.
Masari, represented by his deputy, Mannir Yakubu, noted that such collaboration would assist to avail farmers the opportunity to access modern farming techniques which would have a multiplier effects on their productivity.
The governor said that measure would create job opportunities, reduce poverty and improve the standard of living of the people as well as significantly reduce malnutrition among infants in the state.
Masari added that the state government would continue to put agriculture topmost priority because majority of people were farmers.
On his part, Sani Danjari, the Secretary, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), commended council over the training of the farmers in the state.
Danjari also lauded the state government over the rehabilitation of dams to boost irrigation and distribution of inputs to farmers at subsidized rate.