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FG to assist small-scale firms with technology, says Onu

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Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has said the Federal Government would assist small-scale industries and agro-food processors with provision of up-to-date technologies to scale up their production and reduce poverty.

Onu disclosed this when he received members of the Association of Food and Agro Processors who paid him a courtesy visit in his office, yesterday, in Abuja.

According to him, the provision of requisite technology to micro industries will ensure safe industrial operation and increase productivity, thereby creating more jobs for Nigerian youths.

Onu added that the Federal Government would also create a large army of micro-entrepreneurs in the country in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2030.

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The minister further pledged to support food and agro-processors with relevant innovation to enhance the processing of agricultural products like fruits, vegetables, and cereals to ensure their availability all-year-round.

“In fact, reducing post-harvest losses of our farmers is a major cardinal mandate of the ministry’’ he added.

With increasing population, according to Onu, there would be more mouths to feed, necessitating the need to reduce agricultural wastages through technological innovation.

The minister said that the ministry would further ensure the conversion of research outputs by its agencies into products and services to assist in economic diversification.

He commended the association for creating employment opportunities for teeming Nigerian youths, and urged the President to continue mentoring Nigerian youths in the establishment of micro-enterprises.

Earlier, the President of the Association of Food and Agro Processors and Chairman of Spectra Foods Ltd, Chief Duro Kuteyi, said his association sought collaboration with the ministry and its agencies to improve upon food processing in the country.

He appealed to the minister to assist the association with relevant technologies in processing products so as to reduce post-harvest losses, adding that if this is done, there would be enough food for Nigerians and positive economic growth.

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