A Chinese multinational group of companies CGC kicked off capacity building organized for Nigerian agricultural technicians, an effort aimed at promoting integrated agricultural technology in the West African country.
The five-day training program, sponsored by the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria, was, according to organizers, put together in line with the principal focus of the China-Africa agricultural modernization plan – one of China’s 10 major cooperation plans with Africa.
At least 40 technical personnel of the Nigerian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development took part in the training which was designed to cover many agriculture aspects such as the rice and vegetables cultivation, soil and fertilizer management, seed production, agro-machinery and plant protection.
Earlier, while declaring the training open in Abuja, the Nigerian capital city, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Shehu Ahmed said the China-assisted training was introduced this year as a follow up of President Muhammadu Buhari’s state visit to China in April where bilateral cooperation between the two countries was intensified, particularly in areas of trade and agriculture.
Zhao Linxiang, the Chinese Economic and Commercial Counselor in Nigeria, said Africa’s most populous country has abundant agricultural resources, adding that agriculture plays an important role in growing the national economy.
He said that the agricultural development in China and Nigeria was highly complementary, with great potential for cooperation.
“This is this first time that the China-aid agricultural training courses has been held in Nigeria, which is groundbreaking,” Zhao said, noting it was important to strengthen personnel training to enhance agricultural cooperation between the two countries.
Managing Director of CGC in Nigeria Ye Shuijin told Xinhua the firm and its sister company, Green Agriculture West Africa Limited, which organized the training will ensure participants acquire adequate knowledge both theoretically and practically.
“In CGC we will do our best. Every year, we will invest to continue this training for Nigerian farmers and agricultural technicians,” Ye said.
Agriculture, being a key part of the Nigerian economy, provides employment for about 30 percent of the population and contributed more than 23 percent to the country’s GDP in 2015.