The Brazilian Ambassador to Nigeria, Ricardo Guerra de Araujo, has said that the Brazilian government intends to invest $1.1 billion in Nigeria’s agriculture as part of its efforts to strengthen the two countries bilateral relations.
The envoy was quoted as saying that an agreement between his country and Nigeria on the proposed investment plan in the latter’s agricultural sector would be concluded by the end of this month.
He gave these hints at a dinner organized by the Osun State Government for an agriculture programme ‘Agritech Nigeria’ in Abuja.
The ambassador maintained that Brazil would support the Nigerian government in its current drives to mechanise farming by using the fund to establish a tractor assembly plant in Bauchi State.
While stressing that deployment of tractors and other modern technology for farming in Nigeria would boost agricultural productivity, the envoy pointed out specifically that mechanization would enhance value addition, food systems development and other opportunities for farmers.
This is even as he maintained that it would keep the youth busy also since they will be employed, and boost socio-economic development in the area where the plant is established.
The ambassador explained further that the project to be financed by the Brazilian Exim-Bank facility would come in three phases, adding that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will make available concessional resources through local banks.
According to him, the term of proposed financing support based on the Federal Ministry Of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (FMARD’s) request is 13 years, including 10 years of repayment and two years of moratorium.