The Federal Government has expressed its readiness to partner the Province of Hunan of the People’s Republic of China to boost the nation’s rice production capacity

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, gave this hint when the Governor of the Provincial Peoples Government of Hunan Province, Mr.Xu Da Zhe, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.

Chief Audu Ogbeh, Minister of Agriculture
Chief Audu Ogbeh, Minister of Agriculture

While appreciating China’s growth in the last 35 years in the areas of agriculture, technological development, and machineries’ production, the minister believed that the partnership with the country would help to enhance Nigeria’s quest for improved seed development, mechanization and tissue culture.

Specifically, the minister made a case for requisite training of young people and rural farmers to aid cultivation of over 45 million hectares of land for enhanced food production.

In his remarks, the acting Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr. Idris Mamman, thanked the Chinese government for partnering with Nigeria at a time when the government was exploring various options to grow the sector.

Earlier, the visiting Governor of the People’s Republic of Hunan Province, explained that the main reason for his visit to Nigeria was to develop partnership agreement with the country on agriculture and strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries.

He told the Minister that the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRT) programme, initiated by the President of China Mr. Xi Jinping, was on course as an instrument to foster, contribute to the development of Africa and further deepen relations with the people and governments in Africa.

The Hunan Province leader explained that the BRT Initiative was also a development strategy aimed at enhancing cooperation and connectivity in order to play a bigger role in global affairs.

Meanwhile, Kano and Jigawa State Governments, which have embraced the Rice Initiative, yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China in Abuja.