-by our correspondent.
The Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN) has signed a critical Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with ABG Paulas Resources, a German consultancy firm, to fund agricultural development activities in the country.
The signing of the MoU which took place at ARCN headquarters in Abuja will be pivotal to the private sector development of crops.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, ARCN Executive Secretary, Prof Garba Sharubutu, noted that it was a very important event which ties into 4 out of the 9 mandates of ARCN namely; Extension and Research; supervision of all agricultural research institutions in the country; establishing linkage and cooperation with agricultural organisations within and outside the country for food security and sourcing of funding for research to develop technology for farmers.
“ARCN is actively seeking out international bodies for support because of funds paucity, approaching donor agencies to collaborate with the private sector to secure funding. Having studied the profile of ABG, as a foreign based yet Nigerian organisation, we are seeking collaboration with them in line with our mandate which will be well put to good use in the sector,” Prof Sharubutu said.
He noted that ABG has studied the Nigerian situation and feels the responsibility to contribute their quota as ambassadors of the agricultural sector. In his words, “this is an epoch making Memorandum of Understanding between these two entities, with ARCN as the client and ABG as the consultant.
In his remarks, the managing director of ABG, Ambrose Okojie, said the firm is trying to build synergy to develop the agricultural sector in particular and Nigeria in general. “To end the perilous migration being frequently undertaken by many of our able-bodied youths, I chose to embrace agriculture, to provide jobs, train and empower youths in order to move the nation forward.” He said.
“We have signed an agreement with the German government to provide 30 megawatts of solar power and help to develop green houses, the projects are worth $100m and will be 100% funded by the German government. We are also looking to sign a power purchase agreement with the Federal Government.” Okojie added.
For his part, the executive director of ABG, Charles Ozoemena, assured ARCN that the MoU will be sufficiently executed to advance the Council’s mandate and also advance the development of the agricultural sector and by extension the Nigerian economy.
“We want to encourage the involvement of youths in agriculture to enable the transition from an aging population of farmers in the country, we will be giving them the opportunities to engage more in mechanised farming and food processing.” He said.