Nigeria, Cuba Partner on Agriculture Technology Development

September 18, 2023
Nigeria and Cuba

By Adedapo Adesanya

Nigeria and Cuba have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on food security and agriculture advancement on the sidelines of the G77 + China Leaders’ Summit, which concluded in the North American country on Sunday.

Business Post had reported that the Vice President, Mr Kashim Shettima, represented President Bola Tinubu at the programme. He travelled to Cuba with the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Mr Abubakar Kyari, who signed the MoU alongside his counterpart from the Ministry of Agriculture of Cuba, Mr Ydael Jesus Perez Brito.

The Expression of Interest (EOI) is a historic journey to strengthen the ties between Nigeria and Cuba in the field of agriculture, capitalising on Nigeria’s Nigeria’s demographic advantage, vast land resources, and agricultural potential while promoting President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s vision for food and nutrition security.

Key areas of cooperation include veterinary medicine, vaccine development, artificial insemination, and the development of pastures and ranching as essential components in curbing the challenges posed by inefficient open grazing of cattle.

Others are training, capacity building, and knowledge transfer as the cornerstone of any thriving agricultural economy.

Mr Kyari lauded the willingness of Cuba’s government to partner with Nigeria, noting both countries share a common vision for their people and shared insights into Nigeria’s pressing food and agricultural opportunities and challenges.

“It was in this spirit that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development evolved into the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security,” he said.

Mr Kyari extended a hand of partnership to his Cuban counterparts with a focus on vital areas such as bio-fortification of agricultural produce, improvement of agricultural seeds and seedlings, agricultural mechanization, cutting-edge technologies for increased yields, and the reduction of post-harvest losses.

The Minister also said that “Nigeria is keenly interested in collaborating with Cuba in the domains of poultry, livestock, and fisheries.”

In his own remarks, Cuba’s Minister of Agriculture told the Nigerian delegation about the island nation’s agricultural prowess, admitting that the country has “over 500,000 hectares under cultivation” and remains “a global player in the export of tobacco, coffee, honey, and other commodities.”

Mr Brito expressed delight at the opportunity to partner with Nigeria, stating that his country would provide impactful cooperation in identified areas contained in the MoU.

The host Minister highlighted Cuba’s agricultural and human capital and different models of practices that have raised its productivity.

He also explained that his country would deploy its wealth of experience to help Nigeria achieve its agriculture and food security policies.

If actualised, Nigeria will benefit from Cuba’s agriculture capacity in areas such as bilateral relationships encompassing agricultural productivity, sustainability, knowledge sharing, and technology transfer.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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