According to the Raw Materials Research and Development Council, RMRDC, over 95 per cent of industrial raw materials for production of fruit juices and allied products are imported into the country.
The Director General of RMRDC, Hussaini Ibrahim made the observation at the 2016 Capacity Building Workshop for traders and farmers in Imo with theme, “Production of Fruit Juice/Concentrate from Pineapple and Citrus Fruits”, held at the Imo Polytechnic, Umuagwo.
Ibrahim, who was represented by Sam Ebiriekwe, Assistant Director in the council, attributed the development to lack of improved varieties of fruits as well as inadequate and functional fruit concentrate plants in the country.
He said the effect was that Nigerian products have remained uncompetitive in the world market, coupled with poor capacity utilisation, outright closures and relocation of many industries to neighbouring countries with more favourable economic environment.
Other effects he said are loss of jobs and poverty with its attendant youth restiveness, conflicts and other social vices.
Ibrahim noted that the workshop, organized in collaboration with Imo Polytechnic, Umuagwo was anchored on the collective desire to develop the industrial capacity of Nigeria through the utilization of local raw materials as inputs for domestic industries.
He said the workshop was timely and in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s administrations drive for economic diversification in view of dwindling price of crude oil in the international market.