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Nigeria, Ghana ties to boost food production

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By Usman Oladimeji

Fostering and propelling agriculture investments through the agreement.

To increase food production, EGTA Investment Limited, a Nigeria firm has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Ghanaian conglomerate, Jospong Group of Companies. The MoU was duly signed by the two entities at the Ghana High Commission in Abuja, Nigeria, and primarily revolves around the increase of agricultural produce, specifically pertaining to the cultivation of rice, wheat, soya beans, yellow maize and sunflower, among others. Mr. Eddison Agbenyegah, Ghana Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, and Alhaji Bello Goronyo, Minister of State for Water Resources and Sanitation, supervised the signing.

Also present was Mr. Aminu Goronyo, the President of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN). Mr. Bashir Ibrahim, the Group Managing Director of EGTA, said the agreement has a pivotal role in fostering and propelling investments in agriculture. He outlined the need for inadequate investments to propel agricultural progress in Africa via the facilitation of cooperative, financial, social, and political relationships among African nations, which is the basis that birthed the ECTA and Ghana partnership built on the long standing friendly relations between both countries.

This is aimed to alleviate poverty for the people of Ghana.

In addition, Ibrahim emphasized the importance of the idea of African nations working together in order to ensure the continent’s continued success in the future. He said the two firms’ agreement to collaborate was an inherent progression of the longstanding relationships between Ghana and Nigeria and that the MoU scope encompasses the cultivation of agricultural commodities. Ghana agricultural ecosystem would also benefit from training and capacity building opportunities, as well as technical, financial, and investment collaboration.

He explained that the agreement, among others forged with various foreign partners, was made possible by the unwavering dedication of President Bola Tinubu’s administration towards fostering a business-friendly environment wherein the private sector assumes a pivotal role in propelling economic diversification. Mr. George Blavo, Lead Coordinator, Rice Project, Jospong Group of Companies, Ghana, echoed his sentiment, saying that the agreement fits well into Ghana agricultural goals. Blavo, who signed the MoU on behalf of Jospong, said it primarily aims to help the people of Ghana alleviate poverty through agricultural growth.

The MoU serve as a catalyst for fortifying the nations bilateral ties.

With the private sector playing a central role, he claims, it would improve the agricultural food chain, thereby fortifying food security and mitigating the need for excessive food imports. He said the MoU will serve as a catalyst for strengthening the bilateral ties between Nigeria and Ghana, and it is imperative that the alliance between the nations be prioritized. He expressed optimism that the two nations’ longstanding friendship will continue to flourish for the benefit of both parties.

Blavo praised the economic, trade and investment, technology security, and agricultural ties between Ghana and Nigeria, on his part, Agbenyegah said that Ghana is now one of the major rice producers in Africa, and that the country had sought Nigeria, which had become a “Rice Super Power,” for best practices. It is widely known that Nigeria is the world’s largest rice producer, and that ECTA played a significant role in this success. “We plan to take advantage of the business and government policies that the Federal Government of Nigeria will enforce in order to make working together a breeze and reap maximum benefits”, he stated.

Ghana looks to leverage AfCTA to further regional ties.

Furthermore, he said the country is thrilled with the participation in the private sector initiative to expand rice production in Ghana. As Ghana is hosting the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA), he said the country looks to further regional collaboration in order to boost economic development. Speaking, Goronyo, president of RIFAN said Nigeria has made significant progress in rice production in the past decade since it banned rice imports. He said the progress exceeded Egypt, with annual output of 5.8 metric tonnes of rice.

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