Republic of Benin and the Nigerian government have entered into a pact to stop the West African country from importing rice, as the government of Benin request for Nigerian farmers’ tutelage to enable the country replicate Nigeria’s rice production.
Members of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) have already visited Cotonou, where they signed a memorandum of understanding in preparation of the assistance Nigerian farmers will offer the country.
The agreement was reached by Nigeria and Benin during a meeting on Tuesday, which involved President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, a delegation from Benin, and the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN).
While speaking about the partnership between Nigeria and Benin, Bagudu said, “Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria met with the chief of staff to the president to progress the discussion which has been going on between them and the Benin Republic for the two countries to replicate the success of Nigeria’s rice farming programme in Benin, so that we can stop rice importation in West Africa in shortest possible time,” Bagudu said.
He added that, “This is a partnership within the framework of ECOWAS agreement and the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement and our brotherly relationship between President Muhammadu Buhari and President Patrice Talon who have the vision that we can be greater together.” the governor said.
While the national president of RIFAN, Aminu Goronyo, said, “Of course, they are our sister country, we are one and the same people and I think their president is ready to accept what we have used to achieve this success which is the government’s will because our success is related with the political will that this government has.
“And that is exactly what they want to learn so that they will use the same approach to attain the successes they are seeing to come to us to learn more.” Goronyo said.