Food Price Surge Boosts Farmer Revenue, Leaves Room For Growth In Nigeria's Agric Sector, Says Netherland’s Consul General

Food Price Surge Boosts Farmer Revenue, Leaves Room For Growth In Nigeria’s Agric Sector, Says Netherland’s Consul General

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The Consul General of the embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Lagos, Michel Deelen, has said that the increase in food prices can be used positively to grow the agricultural sector in Nigeria as higher food prices mean higher revenue for Nigerian farmers.

The Consul General said this in exclusive comments to ARISE NEWS during the Nigeria Agrofood and Nigeria PlastPrintPack’s 9th International Trade Show and Conference that was held from the 26th to the 28th of March in Landmark Centre, Lagos.

Deleen, speaking on the state of Nigeria’s economy, said, “I don’t think it’s a secret for anybody that Nigeria’s economy is, at the moment, let’s say, in a challenging position. But that doesn’t have to be all bad because the increase in prices that we as consumers are all suffering from actually means also an increase in revenue for farmers. So, you know, everything has a flip side and it means that you could basically expect more agricultural production.

“Nigeria has a problem with productivity, the productivity of the agricultural sector is too low. The Nigerian Ministry of Agriculture also confirms that, and they try to improve this productivity by mechanisation, by informing people of better varieties here in the horticulture sector, by let’s say, use of fertilizer that that sort of matches exactly what is needed, not too much and not too little.

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“So, I think in the end we’ll be getting there, but the Nigerian agriculture sector has steps to make. Government is not in a position to do that and should not do that on its own. Farmers will do that, but farmers and the whole agro industry need to be sort of, you know, supported in that way. So we as the Netherlands, we try to chip in a little bit by introducing technologies by bringing our companies here that can interact with Nigerian farmers and also advise them on how to grow their products.”

Regarding the exhibition, the Dutch ambassador said that several companies had been brought from the Netherlands to be represented in the exhibition so as to to showcase different products that could help boost Nigeria’s agricultural sector by providing needed technologies to farmers.

Deelen said, “I’m very positive about this exhibition. Considering the present Nigerian economic climate, you could also have thought, oh, nobody will come, because why would they bother if they don’t have the money to pay for seeds or even transport to come here? But it’s a full house, there’s a lot of people who came.

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“Of course, we can only reach a small group because you know, people have to know about it and they have to be around Lagos to come here. Of course, also, agricultural exhibitions take place in other cities in Kano, in Abuja, in Ibadan, to basically sort of spread the word and say what kind of technologies are available and accessible to Nigerian farmers. So I’m actually very happy with the attendance and with the outcome and that’s not just me, but I went around and I asked the 11-12 Dutch companies that are represented here and they had extremely good discussions and did very good business.”

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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