Abuja – The Chinese Government, in collaboration with the Federal Government of Nigeria, has commenced agricultural technical training programme for 40 members of staff of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Speaking at the opening ceremony in Abuja on Monday, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Shehu Ahmed, said the training was aimed at building the capacity of agricultural officers.
He said the training was introduced as a follow up to President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to China in April 2016, where bilateral cooperation was intensified in the area of trade and agriculture.
Ahmed said the pioneer training programme would cover rice and vegetable cultivation, soil and fertiliser management, agriculture machinery operations, seed production and inspection.
“It is hoped that the Nigerian agricultural scientists and technicians will take the opportunity to enrich themselves with the understanding of Chinese agricultural development and its rich experience.
“Understand the Chinese technology that has been successfully applied in Nigeria in order to lay a solid foundation and demonstrating advanced technology practised in China and other developed countries.
“This training, therefore, is to provide you with knowledge and basic skills that would enhance your competencies and basic skill in order to enhance your productivity in the agricultural sector, “ he said.
In his speech, the Chinese Economic and Commercial Councillor in Nigeria, Mr Zhao Linxiang, said that Nigeria has abundant agricultural resources, adding that agriculture plays an important role in growing the national economy.
He said that the agricultural development in China and Nigeria was highly complementary, with great potential for cooperation.
Linxiang said it was important to strengthen personnel training to enhance the agricultural cooperation between the two countries.
“This is this first time that the China-aid training courses have been held in Nigeria, which is groundbreaking.
“It is hoped that through this training programme experience can be obtained and lessons learnt for similar training courses in the future, “ he said.
He said for the modernisation of Nigerian agriculture, large numbers of qualified personnel including technicians and official were necessary and agricultural capacity building should be given top priority.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the programme was declared open by the Charge d’Affaires of Chinese Embassy in Nigeria, Mr Qin Jian.
The training, which is being undertaken by CGC Nigeria ltd, a Chinese company, will end on Friday, June 17. (NAN)