The Republic of Benin and the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) are set to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost rice farming in its country.
The National body of RIFAN was in Cotonou, the Country’s capital recently on the invitation of President Patrice Tallon for discussion on how the MoU would be fine-tuned and signed.
The Delegation was received by the President in his Residential House in Cotonou along with his Minister of Agriculture and that of Foreign Affairs.
RIFAN’s National President, Alhaji Aminu Goronyo who briefed President Tallon about the Association success and how it has transformed and revolutionised rice production in Nigeria, said the country can leverage on their success story to feed herself and export excess to neighboring countries.
“We developed a template that was adopted by the Central Bank of Nigeria and accepted by our President Muhammadu Buhari which as a result, Nigeria is today rice self-sufficient nation.
“We have more than 12 million farmers working with us producing most of the rice paddy the country needs.
“Benin republic can also leverage on that whereby your country can produce the Rice to feed herself and export excess to neighboring countries.
If you do this, it means you are creating wealth and job opportunity for your people and your country”, Goronyo said.
President Talon said the closure of Nigerian Borders served as an eye opener to the country as such, was ready to work with Nigeria to stop smuggling of rice.
While noting that Nigeria is advanced in agriculture in Africa, he said Benin Republic is 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”, he added.