The Chinese government on Tuesday have donated over 2.8 billion worth of agricultural demonstration centre to Nigeria.
The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Chun, made this disclosure on the sidelines of noting how China is currently working with Nigeria to tackle insecurity.
According to Chun, the agricultural centre project kicked off on 18 March 2021 and was completed on 15 October 2022.
The project is expected to help introduce advanced agricultural technology and attract agricultural investment in and out of Nigeria.
The Demonstration Centre includes Agricultural technology training centre, agricultural technology research and service centre, agro-input and machinery exhibition, small scale agro-processing technology exhibition centre, power centre, photovoltaic pump water-saving irrigation system, farmland demonstration areas and as well as access road.
The envoy also explained that the Nigeria-China relationship can be strengthened through agriculture.
Chun said “I want to let you know my biggest interest here in Nigeria is first of all security. So we are working with the Nigerian military sector and law enforcement and trying to see what we can do to improve the current situation.
“Today’s event is really very important not only to Nigeria but also to the whole African continent. It is about technology, investment, high yield seeds, and mechanisation. So the Chinese government is supporting Nigeria to develop modernised agriculture. We need machines and technology.
“This demonstration centre, does not only give opportunity to farmers and government officials, but it will help deepen and broaden relationships between both countries.
“China and Nigeria have no fundamental problems. We are just looking at how we can work together. One of the best ways of doing that is through agriculture which will lift millions of people out of poverty.”
In his address, the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mustapha Shehuri, who was represented by the Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Udoh Daniel, pledged that the Nigerian government will make good use of the centre for a more productive agricultural sector.
He stated, “China and Nigeria share a long standing good friendship and co-operation and this has led to the witnessing of rapid and remarkable achievements among the two countries in the area of bi-lateral co-operation in trade and other fields of life.
“Nigeria is noted to be a large and leading agricultural economy and therefore has a pressing need for an agricultural technology and development centre especially for the youths. This is what the Chinese government has seen that led to the establishment of the centre that is being handed over today.
“It is hoped that the centre local farmers using an advanced technology will enhance their productivity and wellbeing. In addition, the centre will be fully integrated with local agricultural production to enable agricultural technicians adopt faster.
“The centre will help the beneficiaries to move from small scale production model to specialized production agricultural model and also from extensive farming to intensive production. I assure you that the Nigerian government will make good use of the centre for a more productive agricultural sector.”