A delegation of the Kingdom of Netherlands was on Tuesday received in Abuja by the Honourable Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh with the principal officers of the ministry in attendance.
The mission of the delegation is in line with strengthening the bilateral relationship between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The meeting discussed collaborations in Agriculture between both countries to strengthen especially the Nigerian seed sector through knowledge and capacity building and through the adaptation of modern Dutch technology to improve the quality of seed.
Speaking during the visit, Mr Bram Wits, Dutch Agricultural Counsellor, West Africa said: “Netherlands is a world player in Agriculture, one of biggest exporters of Agricultural produce in the world despite its small size. One in four vegetables you eat are either from Holland or the seeds were. This gives us a responsibility to contribute to the huge global feeding challenges in a sustainable manner. The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is the most significant partner to us in Nigeria. The Nigerian private sector as well must be engaged and partnered with to drive the success of programmes and production of quality input”.
Hon Minister of State, Heineken Lokpobiri described the focus on quality inputs as a good thing. He also harped on support for research and an increase in the level of research and technology development”.
Hon. Minister, Audu Ogbeh spoke about recent efforts by the Federal Government of Nigeria to revive its textile industry through the use of BT COTTON seeds with better yields. He said that there have been discussions with VLISCO from the Netherlands in this regard. “Let us all push together to revive the industry. The ministry will help the Dutch team to identify credible and committed private partners for your investments”.
In attendance at the meeting presided over by the Honourable Minister, Audu Ogbeh, were the Honourable Minister of State, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, the Permanent Secretary, Dr Mohammed Bello Umar, members of the Dutch Delegation, Directors of the ministry and some Senior Technical Advisers.