NIGERIA– Dr Ernest Umakhihe, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (FMAFS), has called for a more robust partnership with the Irish Government in the agricultural sector to enhance food and nutrition security.
The initiative aims to leverage the strengths of both nations to boost the production of essential agricultural commodities such as milk, wheat, and beef.
Dr. Umakhihe’s call for collaboration came during a visit to Abuja by a delegation from the Irish Ministry for Agriculture, Food, and Marine, led by Mr. Brendan Gleeson, the Secretary-General. The two parties engaged in discussions aimed at exploring opportunities for mutual growth in the agricultural sector.
The FMAFS, in a statement released by Chief Information Officer Eremah Anthonia, acknowledged Ireland’s remarkable achievements in various agricultural sectors, including milk, wheat, beef, potatoes, and poultry.
Dr. Umakhihe underscored Nigeria’s potential, highlighting the nation’s abundant arable land and successful history in the production of grains, horticultural products, and livestock.
“Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, blessed with arable land suitable for the development of any agricultural value chain,” Dr. Umakhihe said.
“With Ireland’s remarkable successes in the production of milk, wheat, beef, potatoes, and poultry, the Ministry is eager to collaborate to achieve food and nutrition security and sustainability in Nigeria.”
Recognizing the need for concrete steps towards collaboration, Dr. Umakhihe proposed the establishment of a Technical Committee comprising members from both Nigeria and Ireland.
The committee will work diligently to refine and implement the discussed initiatives, ensuring effective cooperation.
Mr. Brendan Gleeson, the Secretary-General of Ireland’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Marine, affirmed Ireland’s commitment to this partnership. He emphasized that both nations shared a common interest in food security, which could lead to mutual benefits.
“We are here to build a strong relationship that would make a significant impact on both countries,” Gleeson assured Nigeria.
This strategic partnership holds great promise for both Nigeria and Ireland. Nigeria, with its vast population and fertile land, offers a substantial market and potential for increased agricultural production.
Meanwhile, Ireland’s expertise in areas such as milk, wheat, and beef production can significantly contribute to Nigeria’s quest for food and nutrition security.
As the Technical Committee takes shape and begins its work, stakeholders in both countries eagerly anticipate the collaborative efforts that will ultimately enhance agricultural productivity, improve food security, and foster economic