Zhao Linxiang, Chinese Economic and Commercial Counselor, said that his country promised $6.7 billion to develop Nigeria’s agriculture through training of hundreds of Nigerians to achieve food sufficiency.
Linxiang made the disclosure at the China-Nigeria Agricultural Modernisation Cooperation Forum in Abuja on Tuesday.
The envoy further stated that China was ready to share its experience in agricultural development with Nigeria in order to transform the sector to enhance productivity.
‘‘China, the most populated country in the world and also the biggest developing country, has produced food for 20 per cent of the world’s population.
‘‘China and Nigeria are both major agricultural nations, having a strong complementarity in the field of agriculture development.
‘‘In the past 15 years, Chinese Government has provided agricultural training courses for hundreds of Nigerian candidates which has promoted the level of Nigeria’s agricultural development.
‘‘In 2016, we held the China-Nigeria Agricultural Technical Training Programme; 40 Nigerian officials and technicians got trained in Abuja on different agricultural innovations with good results.
‘‘We have also started training for 2017.
‘‘We are going to train 40 participants from all the 36 states, including FCT, on pest control, mechanisation, application of farm inputs and so on,” he said.
He assured that the Chinese Government would encourage Chinese companies to invest in Nigeria.
Linxiang, however, expressed the hope that the Nigerian government would provide them with better business environment and industrial policies.
On his part, Zhou Pingjian, China’s Ambassador to Nigeria, said that China had been implementing 10 cooperation agricultural mechanisation plans with Africa after the Johannesburg Summit in 2015.
He also said that China was willing to transfer technologies and management expertise in agriculture with Africa without any reservations.
Pingjian, however, expressed the optimism that the cooperation on agriculture modernisation between China and Nigeria would continue to serve as a pacesetter for China-Nigeria’s future agricultural cooperation.
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, said that mechanised agriculture was the way to go in order to achieve food sufficiency for the country.
Yakubu Buba, Chairman, Nigeria-China Relationship Commission, represented Dogara at the occasion.