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Friday, October 11, 2013

EU seeks business partnership with Nigeria agric sector

Anthony Nwakaegho/NaijaAgroNet

Indications have emerged that businesses of European Union (EU) origin are poised to seeking more business opportunities and partnerships in Nigeria, especially in the agricultural sector, NaijaAgroNet reports.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwunmi Adesina confirmed this after a meeting the stakeholders on European Union-Nigeria business forum in the  move being made by Europe and reiterated President Goodluck Jonathan’s support in getting the country to move towards this fresh produce export market with Europe.

 “There is a lot of opportunities for Europe and Nigeria for agribusiness investment partnerships. We plan to play big in the horticulture market in Europe because Nigeria is closer to Europe than Kenya, Tanzania or even Mozambique. We are going to take advantage of our big size in the horticulture market.
“The largest market is in Europe, but that market is quite difficult to penetrate because it is based on a lot of safety standards, consumer standards that we have to meet, so we have been working together with the ambassadors of the European countries to prepare Nigeria to enter that global horticulture market,” Adesina said.

He explained that issues such as certification, farm audits, and contracts with supermarkets were hurdles to be crossed which is being handled in consultation with the ambassadors of those European countries, while National Agricultural Quarantine Services (NAQS), an agency under the ministry is the one that gives certification to farmers that want to export.

NaijaAgroNet gathered from the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Nigerian German Business Association, Jennifer Ijeoma Anoika, that “a lot of Nigerians do not know the regulations or the changes in the regulations, the SMEs in particular. We want to see more small companies such as Tropical Natural, which is doing quite well with the Dudu Osun, with export products.”

Lawrence Ohue-Inegbenoise, from Friesland Campina, said the company‘s plans is to get more indigenous farmers and investors involved in sourcing milk for its production.

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