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Israel, Nigeria sign agriculture cooperation agreement
By SHARON UDASIN
03/01/2014
Agreement signed by Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir and his Nigerian counterpart, will focus on bolstering food security.
 
Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir and his Nigerian counterpart, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, signed a joint declaration on Friday to increase agricultural cooperation between the two countries.

The ministers signed the agreement, which will focus on bolstering food security, in the Nigerian capital city of Abuja. As part of the agreement, Israel will help Nigerians expand the amount of land they cultivate, increase their water sector efficiency, improve crop quality and strengthen professionalism of those engaged in agriculture, Shamir’s spokesman said.

Israeli companies, in return, will be able to partake in more agriculture, infrastructure and construction projects in the West African nation of some 175 million people.

“Israel and Nigeria will increase their strategic cooperation in the agricultural and economic development of Nigeria,” Shamir said.

During his visit to Nigeria, in which Shamir is representing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at events celebrating 100 years since the unification of Southern and Northern Nigeria, he has met with the Nigerian president, foreign minister and water minister.

The Nigerian economy has an annual growth rate of 7.4 percent that can afford Israeli companies the opportunity to conduct business in the economy of the most populated African country, Shamir’s spokesman stressed. In the last year alone, Nigeria invested more than $4 billion in its agricultural sector, and the country has gained more geopolitical importance due to its seat on the United Nations Security Council, he added.

“The Nigerian government is interested in increasing the involvement of Israeli companies in the fields of agriculture, water, renewable energy, homeland security, telecommunications and IT,” Shamir said.

The minister will also visit Ghana and Ethiopia, his spokesman said.
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