Bangladesh and Nigeria have mapped  out strategies  to boost bilateral relations  to promote agro-farming and  business for trade and investment  for mutual  benefits  of both countries.

This was the focus of a symposium held to discuss  various  areas in the agriculture sector and food value chain  with the theme “Promoting Agro-Farming  and Businesses For Trade and Investments to Promote sustainable  and inclusive development: Opportunities  for Bangladesh and Nigeria” held in Abuja on Friday.

Speaking  during  the event, the High Commissioner of Bangladesh  to Nigeria, Masudur Rahman, said  the collaboration is important in a lot of areas such as technology and skill transfer and the digitalisation of agriculture.

“We have discussed the supply value chain of the agriculture markets, we have discussed the preservation of the agriculture products, packaging of the products and the compliance issues, diversifying fishing  and other agricultural products” the envoy noted.

Ambassador Rahman said further  that his country has attained self-efficiency  in rice production, grain production, poultry, dairy products including  fishing, achieved mainly through better irrigation infrastructure   and mechanised methods.  He also said that  his country  has introduced  digital technology to improve the sector  through data monitoring even as he promised to share this experience with Nigeria.

The High Commissioner expressed  confidence about the momentum created by the  symposium, adding  that if properly  harness, agriculture  and agribusiness  have the potential to trigger “sustainable development, economic growth, job creation and reducing poverty for both countries as well as  expand trade.’’

Also speaking during the symposium, the permanent secretary of the Ministry  of Agriculture  and Rural Development, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe noted that  the collaboration was apt considering the fact that agriculture is now a frontline business in the promotion of new investment and commercial potential as well as the establishment of export links between countries.

Represented by director of  Special Duties, Fausat Lawal, the permanent secretary said  “It will come with profound economic benefits in the area of food security, job creation and knowledge transfer”. He noted that  the current global food crisis and long standing challenges of the agriculture sector has made it clear that more investment is needed in Nigeria’s agriculture sector.

“In recent years, many important steps   have been taken to accelerate Nigeria’s export through market penetration and ensuring standards to competitive export. This has helped to promote the sector which is vital for sustaining economic growth and development.

“The agricultural sector plays a vital role in the overall economic performance of both Nigeria and Bangladesh, the promotion of agro-products  and establishment of linkages within the global agro-supply chain therefore  require that we utilise  the advantages  both countries have” he added.

President  of the Nigerian  Association  of Chambers  of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dele Oye, who was represented  by Alhaji  Farouk Suleiman, urged both countries to address the challenges  of infrastructure, high  cost and lack of agro-friendly financing as well as bureaucratic and regulatory  issues  that pose obstacles  to agribusiness.

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