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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Nigeria, Israel enter agricultural deal

The Federal Government of Nigeria and State of Israel, penultimate Friday signed a cooperation agreement to share expertise and step up cooperation in the agriculture field aimed at boosting food security in both countries, report

The agreement was signed on behalf of the FG by the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina and his Israeli counterpart, Yair Shamir at a short ceremony in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Speaking, Adesina said Nigeria will work closely with the state of Israel to boost fish production, so as to cut down on the amount spent yearly importing fish, noting that Nigeria spends 125 billion naira, about $760 million annually, on fish imports alone.
“… This ought not to be, considering the abundant water resources in this country. The cooperation will also include areas of beef production, horticulture and training," he said.

Pointing out that Israel will also help Nigeria to structure her rural communities in a way that youths in these communities will be able to create wealth through agricultural activities instead of migrating from their local areas.

The minister said, the government is trying to woo private investors in hopes of bolstering the local agricultural sector and up to $4 billion has already been invested in local agriculture projects by private companies.

Adesina said the Nigeria-Israel cooperation deal would foster development in the sector and "impact private-sector businesses tremendously, bringing wealth to youths by creating gainful jobs."

Equally, Shamir said Israel would cooperate with the Nigerian government to develop agriculture in Africa`s top oil producer. Stressing that the Israeli government would begin by training employees of Nigeria`s Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Development, emphasising that the partnership would boost food security for both countries.

Isaac Oyimah with agency report/GEE

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