The Federal Government has appealed to China to assist Nigeria in the areas of seeds research, agriculture machinery and training for youths and rural farmers to promote the country’s agriculture sector.
Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said this when the Governor of Hunan Province, Mr Xu Dazhe, and his team visited him in Abuja
He said that the partnership would help Nigeria to increase its food production potential, adding that the country required improved food production to meet the rising food demands of its growing population.
The minister said that Nigeria had about 45 million hectares of land which had yet to be cultivated or used for agricultural purposes.
“We have a chance to build a strong partnership because I know you (China) are very strong in food production.
“Everybody in the world is fascinated by the progress which China has made. China is a strong partner for the development of agriculture; over 60 per cent of our population are young people and they need food.
“We will definitely need support from China and Hunan Province.
“What we are going to need from China is seed research, machinery and training, especially for our young people and rural farmers, and we have some products which I believe that China will need.
“When we are coming to the exhibition in November, we will bring along our products and we will buy a lot of products from China too,’’ .
Speaking, Dazhe said that the team was in the country to deepen the relations between Nigeria and China as well as Hunan Province.
He called for a partnership between the Hunan Province and Nigeria on agricultural equipment, food processing and technologies.
The governor said that Hunan Province was a hub of grains production and food supply in China.
“Hunan Province tops China in rice production and our livestock sector is also very competitive.
“The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Hunan Province as at 2017 is 53 billion U.S. dollars, while our growth rate is eight per cent,’’ .
Hunan is the 7th most populous province of China and its capital is Changsha.