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Partnership between Kenya and Nigeria Aims to Reduce Food Imports

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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Partnership between Kenya and Nigeria Aims to Reduce Food Imports

According to the Foreign Agriculture Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, Africa imported a total of US$43.6 billion worth of agriculture supplies, including food, in 2011. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), called the level of food imports “puzzling,” given the “vast agricultural potential” of the African continent in a report published in 2012. The report went on to cite “population growth, low and stagnating agricultural productivity, policy distortions, weak institutions and poor infrastructure” as the primary culprits in the continent’s massive importation of food. However, a recent partnership between Kenya and Nigeria is set to transform the state of agriculture in the two countries. The Kenya-Nigeria Agribusiness Forum, which launched last month, will focus on these structural issues.

This includes “fixing agriculture value chains, ensuring sustainable supplies, affordable financing, and instituting good agriculture practice and the certification of programmes with international recognition.”Government officials from both Kenya and Nigeria spoke about the difficulties their countries face and the need for the relationship. Felix Koskei, Kenya’s Minister of Agriculture, described the current methods of production and food marketing, saying, “These translate to low prices, few job opportunities and low income for farmers. Changing these will increase the income to our farmers.” In a similar vein, Chairman of the Kenya-Nigeria Joint Business Council, Sani Dongote, explained that the Agribusiness Forum is a “United front to address the issues of agriculture in Nigeria to make it private sector-driven.”

Source: dailymeal.com