By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja
The Federal government through the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh has sought the inclusion of Nigeria into Brazil More Food Programme, as a means to improving the nations agriculture.
The Minister stated this when he received a 14 man delegation from Brazil led by its Minister of External Affairs, Aloysio Nunes Ferreira in Abuja on Thursday.
According to Ogbeh “We know you started the More Food Program as a policy of cooperation between the South South nations of the world and we are very excited by it.
He said “we have been in Brazil twice e and with your visit like to strengthen our demand and request that Nigeria be included on the lists of beneficiaries of the program.We have made our submissions and are waiting for the response from Brazil”.
Ogbeh noted that “Nigeria has many deficiencies and do not have enough machines,tractors and machineries for value addition and so we really ask Brazil to give us that kind of support on reasonable terms which we shall repay over a period”
“What we want to assure Brazil is that if we do take part in that programme,we would repay on schedule and that the support is something that Nigeria will value very highly”.
The Minister stated that Nigeria will need a million tractors over the next ten years and stressed the need to engage the Brazilians so as to engage the Nigerian young people in agriculture.
Ogbeh assured that Nigeria sees Brazil as a very special partner,noting that the two countries are connected by their history, culture and some of the political experiences they mutually experience .
Speaking earlier, Brazil Minister of External Affairs, Aloysio Nunes Ferreira said Brazil has a large scale industrial sector and also family scale production to take advantage of the internal market.
He assured the Brazilian government had supported it’s farmers with credit facillities,training and access to markets.
The Minister stated that his country like Nigeria had been challenged with poor infrastructure, high cost of transportation as a result of distant areas of production which had led to them losing 8% of their GDP which is the equivalent of half of Nigerian GDP.
He however assured that as part of their economic recovery plans,they had sought for fiscal equilibrium which led to a reduction in public debt and Government expenditure.
“40% of government spending was cut in the past year to create room for this reforms and the result has shown a growth of 1% in the past year and hopefully should increase to 3% in the coming year” he said.
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