In a bid to meet its food sufficiency, food security and nutrition targets, Guinea-Bissau has called on Nigeria to assist in the production of rice.
The call was made by the Guinean Ambassador to Nigeria, Henrique Adriano Da Silva during his visit to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) where he was received by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono. Also available at the visit was Guinea’s Country Representative of the Food and Agricultural Organisation, Suffyan Koroma.
According to the statement obtained from the ministry, the request by Da Silva was based on the successes recorded by Nigerian farmers in the production of rice.
The ambassador pointed out that the Nigerian farmers were able to achieve such success and growth in rice production because of the provision of improved rice seedlings, farm inputs and the anchor borrowers’ facility by the Federal Government. This, he said Guinea-Bissau needed to be successful in their rice production as well.
Commenting on the request by Da Silva, Nanono assured that the ministry would assist Guinea-Bissau in terms of personnel training and technical assistance in rice value chain. He also pointed out that for this to happen, it was important that the two countries establish bilateral agreements.
Speaking further, the Minister promised to meet with the Guinean minister of agriculture to commence the training and technical assistance.
As stated by Da Silva, 90% of rice consumed in Guinea-Bissau is imported, which is the core reason it is seeking assistance. He also made known that the rice value chain was the core of Guinean agriculture, which saw Guinea exporting rice to other countries such as Angola, Mozambique and Portugal. Rice is the largest imported food item in Guinea, making up almost 40% of all food imports.