The African Development Bank, AfDB, says it has approved a 70 million dollar loan for a road project in Ebonyi. The bank said on its website on Friday that it would provide $40 million, while its co-financier, the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF), would contribute $30 million for the project.

Africa has the potential to become a net exporter of agricultural commodities, replacing imports worth more than 110 billion dollars.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) said this in a statement issued its Communication and External Relations Department.

According to the bank, the continent can also double its market share for select processed commodities.

The bank said Africa’s agribusiness sector was predicted to reach one trillion dollars by 2030, describing it as the next “oil sector”.

According to the statement, Nigeria is in a position to provide leadership in Africa’s agribusiness sector.

It explained that this was necessary because of its vast agricultural resources and existing drive to transform its subsistence agriculture economy into a major global player.

To this end, AfDB said that it had concluded plans to host an investment forum on its Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) initiative in Abuja on April 30.

It explained that SAPZs had been designed to concentrate on agro-processing activities within areas of high agricultural potential in order to increase productivity and competitiveness.

The bank said the forum would update stakeholders on the progress made in the establishment of SAPZs and to secure the commitment of key agribusiness companies and banks.

It added that part of it would be planning, investment and implementation of priority SAPZs in Nigeria.

“The bank, together with its development partners is investing heavily in these projects in order to rapidly scale up agricultural production.

“The initiative will be the result of strong public and private sector partnerships.

“The innovative Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones initiative will provide millions of young rural men and women with unprecedented employment and entrepreneurship opportunities,” it added.

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