The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, has reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to explore the vast agricultural, economic and technical opportunities with the Republic of Belarus for the mutual benefits of both countries.
Speaking during a high-level meeting with a delegation of Belarussian investors led by the Special Envoy of the President of Belarus, Col. Gen. Victor Sheiman, held yesterday in Abuja, the minister stated that self-sufficiency in food production was key to the development of any country.
“For any country to develop, there must be self-sufficiency in food, if possible, export like Belarus, that is where we want to be,” he said.
The minister added that Nigeria will further strengthen collaboration with Belarus in agriculture, trade and industry, security and oil and gas.
Abubakar specifically acknowledged the country for its strides in mechanised agriculture, being one of the best in the manufacturing and production of tractors as well as one of the leading countries in the production of high-quality fertilisers, with about 30 per cent of global output.
In his presentation, Special Envoy Sheiman said Nigeria had much to gain from the collaboration especially in mechanised agriculture and assured of quality control, human capacity training and development spreading through the training of the farmers on how to use the tractors, service centres for repairs of the machines.
Also, Shaiman informed that Nigeria could further benefit from a tractor manufacturing plant to be assembled here in the country after an initial 3-year implementation period (2022-2025) of collaboration in the supply of quality tractors to Nigeria.
He further disclosed that Belarus has the capacity and expertise to partner with Nigeria, particularly in agriculture, trade and investment, defence, as well as other sectors of the economy. He requested the setting up of a working group across sectors of the Nigerian economy and with his country’s team for a smooth and transparent process.