The Bank of Agriculture (BOA), 30 business executives and officials from Germany on Tuesday in Abuja signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on fighting poverty and developing agriculture in Nigeria.
The Managing Director of BOA, Adamu Kabir, said in Abuja that the collaboration was aimed at strengthening the bank and promoting the sustainable development of the country’s agricultural sector.
He said that the partnership would focus on various aspects of agriculture, including the use of renewable energy, financial inclusion as well as property and value chain development.
Besides, Adamu said that under the agreement, Nigerian farmers would produce various crops for export to Germany, while the Germans would, in exchange, provide Nigeria with modern technologies that would boost crop yield, value chain development processes and organic system of farming.
He said that the essence of the MOU was to make farming and other activities along the value chain as a real business for Nigerian farmers so as to enable them to earn more income, while making farming more attractive to the youth.
He said that the initiative became imperative because of the fact that the country’s agricultural sector had suffered serious setbacks in recent times.
Adamu said that the main challenges facing the sector included lack of adequate facilities to guard against post-harvest losses, dearth of modern technologies and inadequate funding.
He said that all these areas, among others, would be looked into under the new partnership.
Speaking, Mr Ulrich Rieger, Bavarian Minister of Economic Affair, Energy and Technology, said that Germany would assist Nigerian farmers in the area of renewable energy to replace carbon-intensive energy sources and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
He noted that farmers had not really been able to utilise renewable energy sources in a more meaningful way.
Rieger said that benefits of renewable energy were enormous, adding that Nigerian farmers and rural communities would benefit immensely from it.
An agriculturist, Christian Wessels, said that under the agreement, German experts would strive to tackle the perennial challenges facing smallholder farmers, while supporting policies that would create the enabling environment for high-yield agricultural production.
He said that the partnership would also seek to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers across the country at the primary production level with the introduction of appropriate technologies. (NAN)