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General News of Wednesday, 10 March 2021


Nigeria, Benin agree to jointly end rice importation

Rice farm Rice farm

The Federal Government and the Republic of Benin, have agreed to work together to end the importation of rice in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

A meeting between a delegation from the Republic of Benin and the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), led by the Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu and State and the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, met with the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari at the presidential villa, Abuja on Tuesday to solidify the agreements and tap from Nigeria’s experience in reviving rice production.

Members of RIFAN were recently 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 Benenoise delegation, who was led by the country’s minister of agriculture, Gaston Cossi Dossouhoui.

Speaking to State House Correspondents after the meeting, Bagudu explained that the delegation and Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria met with the (CoS) to advance ongoing talks between the two countries on how to replicate Nigeria’s rice farming programme in Benin Republic.

He said the move is to see how they can discontinue rice importation to West Africa.

The governor stated: “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."

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