By Temitope Ponle
Abuja – The Chinese Government says it is committed to supporting Nigeria in achieving food security in line with the Federal Government’s economic growth plan.
The Economic and Commercial Councilor of the Chinese Embassy, Mr Zhao Linxiang said this at the opening of the Overseas Training Course on Agricultural Techniques in Abuja.
Zhao said that food security was pertinent, adding that the training course would enhance agriculture production in the country.
“Food security is crucial for every single country. To secure food safety, we need higher food production, which in other words means higher agriculture production.
“To raise agricultural productivity and achieve the agricultural aims of the ERGP, we need more advanced technologies.
“Nigeria has favourable conditions for agriculture development, all these favourable conditions, if combined with proper technologies, will turn into huge production in the near future.
“China is ready to share the technologies we use and I believe these technologies can also contribute to the development of Nigeria’s agriculture.”
The envoy said that capacity building “should have a more important position” in promoting the agriculture sector in line with best practices.
He also called for enhanced cooperation between the two governments in agricultural technology under the China-Africa cooperation framework and other programmes.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Federal Government had in 2016 launched the Agricultural Promotion Policy aimed at addressing the country’s domestic food requirement and the quality of agriculture produce for export.
The Director, Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Baye Bungwon, however, said that they would support the government’s agriculture plans.
“It is the government’s desire that the training will enhance the capacity of agricultural workers who will serve as the required agents of change for a sector that is being repositioned through the APP and the ERGP.’’
Bungwon further expressed optimism that the course would also equip the participants with technical skills that would contribute to economic development.
The Deputy Managing Director of CGCOC Agriculture Development Company, Mr Wang Jun also said that the programme would focus on promoting the value of grains in the country.
“Our training programme is aimed at Nigeria’s three widely-cultivated crops, i.e., rice, maize and sorghum, focusing on their cultivation techniques, breeding and seed production and other related techniques.
“This is including the indoor technical training and on-site practice of soil and fertiliser science, disease and pest and prevention control and storage technology.”
Mr Musa Dalhatu, a participant and the Course Representative, urged participants to be “serious and dedicated to the training’ to acquire the requisite knowledge needed to impact on the country’s agricultural development.
Also, the Director of Shandong Foreign Trade Vocational College, Mr Xuan Zhongbo said that the training would enhance the international relations of both countries.
He said that the college had held more than 100 training courses for more than 2000 trainees from more than 80 countries since 2012.
The three-week training programme has 100 participants drawn from the agriculture sector of the country.