December 12, 2017
India wants to support the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Green Alternative initiative, which is aimed at boosting inclusive and sustainable growth in the agricultural sector
The partnership comes as Nigerian farmers are seeking improved support in terms of crop sciences, technology, infrastructure and finances for high-margin and year-long farming
India, which until mid-1960s was a food deficient country, has generated enough capacity to produce surplus food, becoming one of the major global exporter of agricultural produce
In 2015, India had announced concessional loans of US$10 billion to African countries. India is Nigeria’s largest trading partner, while Nigeria is India’s biggest trading partner in Africa
India will help Nigeria become self-sufficient in agriculture and a major exporter of agricultural products. A partnership related to this was announced on December 12th following a meeting between Radha Mohan Singh, India’s Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, and his Nigerian counterpart, Chief Audu Ogbeh. Mr Singh said that India has noted with great interest the new initiatives of the Federal Government of Nigeria, particularly the Green Alternative initiative – aimed at boosting inclusive and sustainable growth in the agricultural sector. The move comes as Nigerian farmers are seeking improved support in terms of crop sciences, technology, infrastructure and finances for high-margin and year-long farming.
There are lessons to learn on how to turnaround the agriculture sector from India, which until mid-1960s was a food deficient country. However down the decades the country has generated capacity to produce surplus food, hence India is now a major exporter of agricultural commodities. With gross cropped area of around 194.4 million hectares and cropping intensity of 139 per cent, along with a total of 127 agro-climatic zones, India is one of the world’s top agricultural producers. The nation also has an extensive network of food processing training, academic and research institutes. Mr Singh said that India would be more than happy to share its experience and expertise in any area of agriculture that Nigeria may identify.
The partnership comes in the backdrop of the India announcing concessional loans of US$10 billion to African countries. Over the last few years, India has been the largest trading partner of Nigeria and Nigeria is India’s largest trading partner in Africa. Mr Singh said that India and Nigeria has participated in capacity building programmes in agriculture-related areas. India had also increased training slots under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Programme from 200 to 310 annually to Nigeria, which includes short-term training programmes in agriculture and allied sectors. India has urged Nigeria to take advantage of this concessional loan and training programme for agriculture and allied sectors.