February 1, 2018
Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
Nigeria and Israel have reviewed the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on agricultural cooperation between both countries.
The understanding was sealed Tuesday at a bilateral meeting in Abuja between Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, Guy Feldma and the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh.
The scope of the agreement would widen cooperation between Nigeria and Israel on agro-research, attract aids from development partners, strengthen the 22 research institutes on agriculture and offer youth practical training in agriculture.
Similarly, Ogbeh and the visiting Israeli envoy also agreed to accord more priority to the practical over theory.
Ogbeh said Nigeria intends to tap from Israeli expertise in science-based agricultural development as part of renewed efforts at deepening bilateral cooperation between the two countries; in the over-all interest of their peoples.
He also announced that Nigeria would participate in the 2018 edition of Agritec Israel– an International Agricultural Fair to be held in May, which will afford Nigeria, the opportunity of showcasing its agricultural potentials to the outside world with a view to attracting foreign investment in agriculture and allied agri-business.
It is also envisaged that that the number of prospective investors in various value chain of agri-business will attract foreign capital and help create employment for its teeming unemployed youth thereby strengthening Nigeria’s efforts at diversifying its economy with agriculture as the cornerstone.
Though over half of Israeli soil is semi-arid and only 20 per cent is actually arable, the Middle East country produces 95 percent of its food requirements.
It is a case study in agro technological advancements, including computer controlled drip irrigation, computerised early-warning systems for leaks, thermal imaging for crop waters stress detection and pest control.
Israel is one of the major producers of fruits and vegetables, which account for 50 per cent of its agricultural output in addition to wheat, corn and sorghum.