Nigeria, Brazil Partner to Boost Agriculture, Create Jobs
By Dipo Olowookere
An agricultural development programme tagged Green Imperative was launched on Thursday in Abuja. The scheme is a partnership between Nigeria and Brazil.
The key objective of the scheme is to up-scale the country’s agriculture to boost food production, improve food security, expand job growth and ultimately boost household income in Nigeria.
The project also aims to develop deep collaboration between Nigerian and Brazilian industries to deliver and use appropriate technologies to improve productivity in crops such as rice, cassava, cocoa, wheat, soya beans, and maize, sugar cane, tomatoes etc.
It was gathered that the bilateral development programme is a result of successive negotiations for technology and machinery support through a government to government credit facility, led by Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Audu Ogbeh, in 2016 through 2017 and 2018.
At the launch today, Vice President, Mr Yemi Osinbajo, informed the audience that, “The project itself is crucial to our signature focus on agriculture as a centrepiece of the economic diversification efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.”
According to him, “This project will help develop our agricultural mechanization to make agriculture a dignified venture for our young people; and ultimately increase agricultural production and boost food security.”
In his presentation, Mr Ogbeh described the collaboration between Nigeria and Brazil as a huge handshake across the Atlantic for a project that can change Nigeria’s mechanization landscape for the better.
“Agriculture is not enough if its stops at the production of raw materials. We have to add value to the raw materials.
“Take cassava for instance, we are the largest producers of cassava with about 50 million tonnes per annum and yet we are still one of the largest importers of cassava products such as industrial starch, adhesives, ethanol etc because most of what we produced is wasted.
“So, mechanization, tractorization and the industrial application of cassava produces etc, is the way to go and we are very pleased that this is happening today,” Mr Ogbeh added.