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Nigeria, China to collaborate on agric development

Cassava plantation

The Federal Government has announced its readiness to partner with China in developing Nigeria’s agricultural sector.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Sonny Echono, disclosed this on Wednesday while receiving the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Gu Xiaojie, at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.

Echono, in a statement from the ministry, said the development model of China best suited Nigeria’s agricultural transformation agenda aimed at commercialising the country’s agriculture.

The permanent secretary explained that Nigeria was working to improve its milling capacity for rice and cassava in order to reduce the country’s current demand for foreign produce.

He told the Chinese delegation that Nigeria needed support in the establishment of ranches, poultry and textile, and urged investors from China to invest in the sectors.

Echono identified infrastructural development as another area where Chinese investors could come in and invest, as he noted that Nigeria was working hard towards increasing productivity.

He said there was the need to develop the Staple Crops Processing Zones, adding that partnership discussion was ongoing with some research institutions in China with respect to technology.

The permanent secretary said China had a huge market for cassava chips, adding that there was the need for her to support Nigeria in cassava production.

According to him, Nigeria is the world’s largest producer of cassava, and he further outlined other opportunities for investment in the country to include aquaculture, fisheries and wheat production.

This, he said, would enable Nigeria to meet the demands of local millers.

Echono also requested support in capacity building, egg powder production and transfer of technology, and noted that Chinese investors should consider manufacturing simple technological tools for Nigeria that would make farming less tedious.

In his remarks, Xiaojie expressed the readiness of the Chinese government to work closely with Nigeria to explore areas of cooperation.

The Chinese ambassador suggested the creation of platforms for commercial farmers and technological companies from both nations to meet in order to know the areas of needs.

He pledged the Chinese government’s readiness to cooperate with Nigeria in the area of technology, economy and anti-corruption.

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