The Federal Government has expressed willingness to collaborate with the Brazilian authorities in food and poultry production so as to ensure food security in the country.
Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Bukar Tijani, made this known in Abuja while receiving a Brazilian delegation on trade mission to Nigeria in his office.
Bukar, who said Nigeria was not doing badly in agricultural production, stressed the need for the government to step up its various programmes in the agricultural sector.
The minister noted that Nigerian farmers could only produce two million metric tonnes out of five million metric tonnes presently needed for consumption in the country; and underlined the need for the government to partner Brazil, which is one of the largest producers of rice in the world.
Tijani also said government was interested in partnering Brazil in poultry and soya beans production, and that there was enough market to meet up with its production in the country.
“Nigeria is a major market itself, we want to borrow a leaf from Brazil to be a major producer, consumer and be the net exporter in the areas where we have comparative advantage. We feel that Brazil has a lot to offer Nigeria that is why we entered the partnership. The key areas that have been discussed dwell much on the transformation agenda of President Jonathan. It is pleasing to know that the trade mission is on rice and poultry productions, we have another interest on soya beans production,” he said.
Leader of the delegation and Secretary of Agriculture in the state of Rio Grande Do Sul, Mr. Luiz Fernando Mainardi, said the partnership was to see that Nigeria attains self-sufficiency in agricultural production with the application of technology, to improve its economy.
He added that Nigeria had the largest market in Africa, and that his country (Brazil) had not included Nigeria in its market, “we want us to have synergy in marketing, especially in the area of poultry production."