Permanent Secretary in Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Fatima Bamidele, said Chinese trade investments in Nigeria has risen to over $7.3billion, thus making Nigeria the second largest trading partner with China in Africa.
Bamidele stated this on Monday when a delegation led by the Chinese Vice- Minister of Agriculture, Zhang Taolin paid her a courtesy visit in Abuja.
She pointed out that the trade figure crossed over $7.3billion in 2009, noting that there is still need for expansion and diversification of the articles of trade.
To this end, the Permanent Secretary solicited for collaboration between China and Nigeria in the areas of the development of research, monitoring and evaluation, land resource management, mechanised agriculture as well as pest control.
She also sought the technical assistance of China in the local assemblage of tractors, Humi-cool storage technology for fruits and vegetables, fish quality assurance and fish disease management, and establishment of livestock breeding centres in Nigeria. While responding, Taolin expressed the readiness of his country to partner with Nigeria to develop her agricultural sector to guarantee food security in Nigeria.
Taolin said China with a population of 1.3 billion, has attained self sufficiency in food production through the development of her irrigable land, agro-trade, agro- technology, improvement of quality and safe management of farm products as well as agricultural ecology.
Currently, there is tripartite agreement which involved Nigeria, the Peoples Republic of China and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) for the implementation of the second phase of the South-South Cooperation (SSC) Programme in support of the National Programme for Food Security (NPFS) in Nigeria.
The purpose of the agreement, according to Bamidele, was to assist the Nigerian government for a period of five years in identifying, designing and implementing SSC activities which include water control and management, fisheries, agro-processing, apiculture, bamboo production, production of simple farm equipment and tools, mushroom production, dairy products, tissue culture, biogas and sericulture within the context of the NPFS.