The Director -General of Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Dr. Husdsni Ibrahim revealed that over 95 per cent of industrial raw materials for production of fruit juices and allied products are imported into the country.
Ibrahim, made the revelation at the 2016 Capacity Building Workshop for traders and farers in Imo state with the theme, “Production of Fruit Juice/Concentrate from Pineapple and Citrus Fruits” held at the Imo Polytechnic Umuagwo.
Represented by Dr. Sam Ebiriekwe, an Assistant Director in the council, attributed the development to lack of improved varieties of fruits, as well as inadequate 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 utilization, outright closures and relocation of many industries to neighbouring countries with more favourable economic environment.
He disclosed that the workshop was organised in collaboration with Imo Polytechnic, Umuagwo, anchored on the collective desire to develop the industrial capacity of Nigeria through the utilisation of local raw materials as inputs for domestic industries.
According to him, the workshop was timely and in line with President Muhammadu Buhari administrations drive for economic diversification in view of dwindling price of crude oil in the international market.