UK reaffirms commitment to support agriculture in Nigeria
The United Kingdom has reassured the Nigerian government of their commitment to the development of Nigeria’s agricultural sector.
During this year’s Feed Nigeria Summit, the United Kingdom High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, said the UK is committed to leading the international market access opportunities for emerging markets across Africa.
According to her, this will be done through facilitating partnerships between UK and African companies to scale up development faster and foster sustainable agricultural practices in the continent.
Laing expressed concern over the impacts of climate change and infrastructure gaps across Nigeria, as well as the lingering insecurity and the business-enabling environment that impacts on the country’s ability to really maximise its potential in this sector.
The UK High Commissioner further stated that the United Kingdom government is committed to working with the Nigerian government and private sectors to enhance productivity, improve nutrition and food security, and improve climate resilience.
“When it comes to trade and international partnerships as a means of addressing food insecurity, we all know that food and agricultural trade can be highly beneficial for economic development and can help to address food insecurity.
“The evidence is clear, trade can deepen our relationships, benefit both parties and support our wider ambitions around development and the environment.
“The impacts of climate change and infrastructure gaps across Nigeria, as well as concerns around security and the business enabling environment impacts the country’s ability to really maximise its potential in this sector.
“Nigeria and other West African countries have found it difficult to take full advantage of the opportunities of the global market, and access to the UK market for Nigerian businesses, including agribusinesses remains challenging for a number of reasons.
“We have used this opportunity to create new partnerships and negotiate our own trade agreements with those countries with whom we mutually have the most to gain.
“Our shared ambitions with African governments to create jobs and build prosperity through sustainable economic growth makes the UK and Africa as a whole, natural partners in business.
The Director-General, Feed Nigeria Summit Secretariat, Richard Mbaram, said the summit aims at supporting Nigeria in a strategic way.
He revealed that the stakeholders at the summit have come up with measures to address the challenges of proper food storage to reduce the about 50 per cent post-harvest losses being recorded in Nigeria, among other recommendations.
“As a country, we are facing challenges around food security, and Agro Nigeria has an entity that has been convening the feed Nigeria Summit, in fact, they need to have this summit at this time before the year closes to ensure that we bring stakeholders together to discuss the issues that affect food security in Nigeria and take it to another level where we can leverage the headwinds to begin to soar around upturning the downturn that is affecting the world.
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