The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, says the Federal Government will collaborate with the government of The Netherlands on improved seeds to boost agricultural production in Nigeria.
The minister spoke when he hosted a delegation from The Netherlands in Abuja, a statement said on Thursday.
Mr Ogbeh commended the government of Netherlands for its numerous supports for Nigeria towards the development of its agriculture.
He said Nigeria looked forward to increasing the level of engagements with the European country, especially on improved seeds.
Mr Ogbeh said aside from the need for improved seeds, the Nigerian government would further require the support of The Netherlands Government in the areas of research, cattle breeding, aquaculture.
He lamented that Nigeria is spending 60 million dollars annually on fish import.
“The ministry in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior has set up agro rangers to provide security for Nigerian farmers as part of government’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for both public and private sectors in the nation’s agriculture sector,” he said
He informed the delegation that Nigeria would continue to partner with The Netherlands Government to develop Nigeria’s agriculture sector.
In his remarks, the Minister of State, Agriculture, Heineken Lokpobiri, said the focus of the present administration was to achieve self -sufficiency in food production, which could only be achieved through extensive research.
He called on The Netherlands government to support Nigeria in the area of research development in Agriculture.
The Netherlands Ambassador to Nigeria, Marion Kappeyne, said the delegation was in the ministry to explore areas of collaboration for the development of the agriculture sector.
“The areas of collaboration would include improved seeds, horticulture, aquaculture, poultry and nutrition among others”, the ambassador said.
Ms Kappeyene said The Netherlands government’s willingness to support Nigeria on agriculture revolution to change the country from food import to food export.
In a related development last year, Premium Times reported how the Nigerian government called for a partnership with the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to develop flood resistant seed varieties to ensure food security in the country.
The Minister of State Agriculture, Mr Lokpobiri, said Bangladesh has made a silent revolution in agriculture as a result of the country’s dedicated investment in research and technology.
Mr Lokpobiri expressed regrets that although Nigeria had about 30 research institutes and colleges of agriculture, it is yet to achieve food security.