FG partners Foreign Investors in Agricbusiness
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammed Bello Umar has said that Nigeria is open to foreign investors to invest in agribusiness in line with the administration’s drive to diversify the economy, stating that Nigeria has all the features of development with abundant raw materials.
He gave the remarks at an interactive session between the management staff of the Ministry and a team of Belgian investors under the auspices of Flanders Investment and Trade Agency, today in Abuja. He said, “ Nigeria is open to the international community that want to do genuine business especially in agriculture”. According to him, the focus of the administration is to develop agriculture and secure the enabling environment for the nation to become an investor’s heaven, adding that Nigeria has the land, resources and the labour that will translate the vision into reality.
Dr Umar pointed out that “ what we are trying to do is to reduce poverty and the fastest way to do that is through agriculture”. stating that Nigeria should be able to feed her people from what she produces. “We must eat what we produce because any nation that cannot feed itself cannot survive, “all we require is increased capacity, technology transfer and collaboration with foreign investors”, he said.
The Permanent Secretary urged the team to focus on inputs in the on-going government initiatives in the sector especially in the area of mechanization as government is de-emphasing importation and rather promoting exportation of its products. He assured that Nigeria is ready to provide the raw materials for the foreign companies to leverage on and assist to beef up its exportation potentials.
The Belgian Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Daniel Dargent who led the team of investors to the Ministry, assured that Belgium will continue its cordial partnership with Nigeria and promote the common ideals of both countries. He said the presence of the investors to Nigeria is a proof of the persistent interest of Belgian companies for Nigeria and hopes that the visit will build upon the positive macro- economic trends of the Nigerian economy and strengthen its economic ties.
Flanders Investment and Trade project coordinator, Mr Malin Johan, said that the agency’s core agenda is to promote sustainable international business in the interest of both Flander- based companies and overseas enterprises. It also identifies, informs, advises and supports overseas enterprises .
Areas of collaboration during the interactive session included: technical assistance, mentoring and coaching, support to women SMS’s sourcing through inclusive agric-value chains , potassium sulphate based fertilizes, sulphuric derivatives, crop protection, gelatin and processing of organic by-products in the industry. Also discussions were on how to use extracts and concentrates valuable animal proteins from blood, eggs and skins as by-products from the food chain including feeds, pet food amongst others.
Eno Olotu (Mrs )
Asst Director, Information
For: Director, Information