The Plateau State government, as part of its efforts to boost its revenue base, plans generating about 18 million naira monthly from its potatoes markets.
The potatoes markets were constructed through the Plateau Potatoes Value Chain Support Project.
The project co-ordinator , Thomas Muopshin, said the value chain project built markets and handed them over to the local governments and communities to manage.
He explained that constitutionally, markets are under the control of the local government councils and every bag of potatoes brought into the market generates revenue.
However, he harped on the importance of keeping market records to realise any meaningful income.
Muopshin further said that with the help of African Development Bank, a tissue culture laboratory and three processing centres had been built in the state.
“The procurement and installation of machines in the processing centres will come up in June/July.
“The tissue culture lab has the capacity to produce six million plantlets yearly to meet the demand for high-quality tubers.
“It is from this plantlets that we now have the small tubers that will be multiplied in the field and sold to the farmers,” said Muopshin.
According to him, the processing centres will solve the problem of glut as potatoes could be processed and preserved in various forms.
“Product from the processing centres are to generate revenue in the form of Value Added Tax (VAT) and excise duty.
“Potatoes could be processed into potato food products, feed for cattle, pigs and chickens, processed into starch, and re-used as seed tubers for growing the next season’s potato crop.
“We can also have it as frozen potatoes, French fries in super markets, chips, flakes, a source for alcohol production and snacks,” he listed.