Benin Republic seeks to tap from Nigeria’s strides in rice production

Nigeria and the Republic of Benin have begun discussions aimed at collaborating in rice production and ending the importation of rice into West Africa.

Benin Republic seeks to tap from Nigeria’s strides in rice production.

Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi spoke with State House correspondents after a delegation from Benin Republic met with Chief of Staff to President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Stakeholders in rice farming in Nigeria were also in the meeting.

Bagudu, who is the Chairman, Presidential Taskforce on Rice and Wheat Production, said that the Republic of Benin was impressed with Nigeria’s strides in rice production and was eager to tap from it.

“This is a delegation from Benin Republic led the Minister of Finance, including the ministers of Trade and Investment, Agriculture, Water and Mining and Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria.

“We met with the Chief of Staff to the President and this is to progress discussions which have been going on between Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria and Benin Republic in order for the two countries to work together towards replicating the successes achieved in Nigeria’s rice programme in Benin.

“So that together, we can stop importation of rice into West Africa in the shortest possible time.’’

He said that the partnership would be within the framework of both ECOWAS Agreement, the African Continental Free Trade Area and the brotherly relationship that existed between both countries.

“The two presidents, President Muhammadu Buhari and President Patrice Talon, who respect each other; who have vision that we can be greater together,’’ he said

On his part, the Beninoise Minister of Agriculture, Cossi Dossouhoui, said that his country was seeking to benefit from Nigeria’s experience in rice production.

Also, Aminu Goronyo, President, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, said that the delegation was in Nigeria because of the success Nigeria had recorded in the area of rice production.

“And their president is so happy and he said they must come to Nigeria;, partner with Nigerian rice farmers and see if the same thing could be replicated in Benin Republic.

“So that they will be able to achieve the successes that this government achieved in the area of rice production.’’

He said that Nigeria was willing to assist Republic of Benin to boost its rice production if its leaders would provide the enabling environment.

“They are our sister country; we are one and the same people and since their president is ready to accept what we have used to achieve these successes which is government will.

“Our successes is related with the political will that this government has; that is exactly what they want to learn; so that we will use the same approach,’’ he said.


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