Nigeria, Ireland to Forge Bilateral Relations for Food, Nutrition Security

Nigeria, Ireland to Forge Bilateral Relations for Food, Nutrition Security

Gilbert Ekugbe

The Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and the Irish Government have announced plans to strengthen trade relationships to boost food and nutrition in both countries.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, made the call when he received in audience, the delegation from Ireland, Ministry for Agriculture, Food and Marine led by the Secretary General, Mr. Brendan Gleeson, on a courtesy visit in Abuja recently.

He stated that agriculture plays a major role in the Nigerian economy and stressed that the need to harness areas of good working relationship is very germane to boost trade and investment between Nigeria and Ireland in the agricultural sector.

He pointed out that, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, had recently declared emergency on agriculture and food security and is committed to implementing programmes and policies intended to bring about enhanced food security, job creation and poverty eradication.

Umakhihe revealed that Nigeria was the most populous country in Africa blessed with arable land suitable for development of any agricultural value chain with a history of successes in the production of grains, horticultural products, livestock, amongst others.

Speaking further, he recognised the huge successes of Ireland government in the production of milk, wheat, beef, potatoes, poultry amongst others, noting that the ministry is willing to key in for the achievement of food and nutrition security and sustainability in Nigeria.

He therefore called for the setting up of a technical committee with membership from both countries to fine-tune the issues raised.

In his remarks, the Secretary General, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Marine, Ireland, Mr. Brendan Gleeson, stated that both countries had common interest in food security that would bring about mutual benefits.

He pointed out that, “We are here to build a strong relationship that would make strong impact to both countries.”

In his response, the Ambassador of Ireland to Nigeria, His Excellency, Peter Ryan, revealed that Ireland was food secured and would never take food security for granted, which he noted was something that Nigeria had to work on, in terms of research and development, capacity building, cattle breeding, food marketing among others.

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