Abuja — Nigeria and Brazil Thursday in Abuja explored an inter-ministerial framework for partnership on food security.
The Brazilian delegation, led by Minister of External Relations, Aloysio Nines Fereirra, and the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, discussed the cooperation on the occasion of the 2017 World Food Celebration.
The meeting had in attendance the Nigerian Ambassador to Brazil, Christopher Okeke and Ambassador Fernando José Marroni de Abreu, the Under Secretary Africa and Middle East and several top officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Ogbeh sought from Brazil the enlistment in the Nigeria to expand its livestock industry and requested Brazil to supply it with tractors and machinery to boost the production of soybeans and beef.
Brazil is the world-leading exporter of beef with 35 per cent share of the global supply.
Ogbeh said Nigeria required one million tractors over the next 10 years to encourage its young and middle age farmers, who needed tractors for value addition.
The federal government proposed to Brazil to grant the offer on reasonable terms, promising to make repayment on schedule.
“Nigeria sees Brazil as a very special partner with shared historical and cultural similarities. We want to deepen the corporation between us. We have great admiration for Brazil and will want it to include Nigeria in the More Food Programme policy. We need soybeans and want to improve our beef production. We don’t look after cattle here because of shortage of water. There is also the perennial clash between farmers and herdsmen,” Ogbeh said.
Fereirra said that Brazil, the world largest grower of Coffee, had in the last 20 years, emphasised on large-scale farming and has met regional demand in animal husbandry and soybeans production.
He said that after losing eight per cent of its GDP, Brazil introduced reforms and labour regulations by cutting 40 per cent of public spending, which resulted in one per cent growth last year.
Ogbeh at the commemoration of World Food Day, said that under the Green Alternative Agricultural Promotion Policy ( APP), government established cottage fish farms in seven states, including Bornu, Ekiti, Imo, Katsina, Nasarawa, Rivers and FCT to promote consumption of good quality protein that fish offers.
He said the establishment of the farm settlement would reduce Nigeria’s annual $5million spending to import fish.
He said to enhance fish production and processing, the ministry distributed over 200 kilns to selected fish markets and farmers nationwide to boost shelf life, promote preservation, reduce post- harvest loss and enhance value addition for fish in the country.
In addition, Ogbeh said that government also established the National Aquaculture Certification Centre and carried out a nationwide standardisation and certification of fish farms and processing facilities in compliance with HACCP, EU directives and US Tracy Law to facilitate export of Nigeria’s fish and fish product to the foreign markets.
He said FG also constructed 33 silos complexes with a combined capacity of 1,360,000 metric tonnes and commodity warehouses numbering 48 of 2,000 capacity in various locations within the country.