Ireland Republic Partners Nigeria To Boost Agric

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From: Bamidele Fasube, Abuja

The Ireland Republic on Monday disclosed its readiness to partner

Nigeria to boost her agriculture sector.

Irish Minister of Food, Marine and Defence, Mr. Simon Coveney said

Nigeria has the landmass and population to be sufficient in food

production.

He said they are willing to encourage capacity building for local

farmers and help transform the agriculture sector like Ireland did 40

years ago.

About 12 men delegation visited the Minister of Agriculture and Rural

Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh to offer their support in Abuja.

“I will like to see our companies work in partnership with Nigerian

companies thereby learning from the mistakes we made. Don’t forget we

moved from a country that could not feed itself to a country that now

produces food 10 times than its population.

“Ireland has become agriculture and food technology specialist in the

European Union and globally. We want to share that knowledge of

technologies through our companies and in agriculture. For instance,

we will like to invite, if any of your officials want to come and work

with us for about six months on agriculture knowledge about food

safety, food controls, import and export controls and supervised by

someone in my department to ensure quality safety standards,” Coveney

said.

Ogbeh commended the trade delegation for their visit.

He sought for supports emphasized on technology transfer from the delegation.

Ogbe stressed that such partnership would encourage youths into

agriculture.

“The area we want your partnership is the livestock. We have cattle

breeding problem. We need to improve the breeding of cattle. Our

cattle produce less than 1 liter of milk. So we will embark very

seriously on artificial insemination inputs. We will start as a public

private programme with at least 200 centers across the country

including the south east and south west.

“We also need to address cattle migrations because it is causing real

problems in the country. The cattle are moving around from north to

the south, across the desert encroaching at 2 kilometers per hour. We

are looking at massive irrigation of fields, plant particular kinds of

grass to prevent real migration.”

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