FG Seeks Support from Saudi Arabia to Increase Food Production 

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The federal government has expressed its readiness to partner with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to increase food production in Nigeria.

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, disclosed this when Saudi Arabia’s  Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, Engr. Abdulrahman Alfadley and his delegation visited him in his office in Abuja recently.

The minister noted that Food Security as well as Agriculture is a priority item on the agenda of the incumbent administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, adding that Nigeria has watched with keen interest the widely applauded reforms being undertaken by His Royal Highness, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. “The social and economic dimensions of these far-reaching reforms are truly pleasing to the friends of the kingdom across the globe,” he said.

Sen. Kyari noted that the two countries have very strong and healthy bilateral relationships that date back several centuries.

Speaking further, the Minister stated that in prioritizing Agriculture and Food Security, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has left no one in doubt as to his willingness and readiness to accommodate a range of ideas that can sustainably develop and encourage investments in the sector.

In his response, the Saudi Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources,  Engr. Abdulrahman Alfaddly, said food production, food availability and accessibility is becoming on the top of the agenda for all countries. He said that Nigeria has a comparative advantage in agriculture and that is why his country is looking for an opportunity to invest in the country.

He said that the solution  to the challenges facing self-sufficiency is the ability to produce at a lower cost compared to what is coming from outside “otherwise you will continue to import and at a certain point in time you may not be able to import and the local production is not available, you run into problems,” he said. 

“So we will examine all the opportunities and note the services we need to provide to the Nigerian farmers.”

Speaking at a business roundtable organised by the Saudi-Nigeria Chamber of Commerce in Abuja, the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, appealed to the government of Saudi Arabia and Saudi private investors to invest in the Nigerian agricultural sector. 

The meeting was attended by Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Agriculture, Environment  and Water Resources, Engr. Abdulrahman Alfaddly who led a delegation of top Saudi government officials to Nigeria, as well as Nigerian private sector players, particularly those in the agricultural sector.   

Sen. Bagudu said before now, the main point of relationship between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia was oil, but that it has been discovered that agriculture provides more opportunities and has more absorptive capacity.

According to him, “I recall that when we visited your office in Saudi,  you told us what we need to do to create an enabling environment so as to attract private sector investment. We appreciate that because we want to get it right, we want partnership, we want hundreds of trillions  of dollars that can be absorbed in agriculture and we want partnership so that both Saudi Arabia and our private sector can be richly rewarded.”

He said that the government of Nigeria is ready to partner with genuine investors to improve the nation’s agricultural system and ensure food security for Nigerians.

 

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