A bill for an Act for the establishment of National Tea and Coffee Development Council to develop commercial cultivation of the produce in the country has passed second reading in Senate.
The Bill was first read in the Upper Chamber in April, 2017 and it seeks to enhance growth, production and marketing of tea and coffee to boost agriculture and enhance revenue generation.
Also, if the Bill is finally passed into law, it will reduce the overdependence on oil export earnings so as to further exploit the country’s vast agricultural potentials.
Leading the debate at plenary yesterday, the sponsor of the Bill, Senator Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf (Taraba Central) argued that some parts of the country especially in the Mambilla Plateau, have the endowement with suitable climate and soil condition that could be harnessed for large cultivation of tea and coffee but are yet to be utilised.
According to Yusuf, governments have not made any major impact in terms of active involvement and participation in tea and coffee growth.
He noted that “the Bill has tremendous benefits on the local tea and coffee producing areas, employment generation and by extension development of productive sectors such as tourism and wildlife conservation.”
Concurring the views, Senators Emmanuel Bwacha (Taraba South) and Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (Niger North) noted most beverages consumed in the country are imported which is capital intensive considering the current exchange rate hence the importance of the Bill.