The Republic of Benin and the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) are set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost its rice production.
President of RIFAN, Alhaji Aminu Goronyo who led the delegation to Cotonou, in a statement said the deal would see both countries working to achieve a revolution in rice production and processing.
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“We developed a template that was adopted by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and accepted by our President, Muhammadu Buhari, which as a result, Nigeria is today rice self-sufficient,” he said.
Goronyo said the Benin Republic can also learn and leverage Nigerian successes on rice to feed herself and export excess to other countries.
“If you do this, it means you are creating wealth and job opportunities for your people and your country.”
President Patrice Talon of Benin Republic said the closure of the Nigerian borders is an “eye-opener” to the country. “We are ready to work with Nigeria to stop the smuggling of rice.”
He said Nigeria and Benin republic are both green nations with Nigeria doing better in agriculture adding that “we are ready to learn from Nigeria through RIFAN.
“The recent border closure is an opportunity for the two counties to collaborate better in agricultural trade. This will promote the two countries economic development, unity, and wellbeing of our people,” the President said.
The leadership of RIFAN was in Cotonou on the invitation of President Talon to discuss the partnership after an earlier meeting when Talon visited President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja recently.