Nigeria’s School Feeding Programme To Be Modelled After Brazil’s | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Nigeria’s School Feeding Programme To Be Modelled After Brazil’s

Posted: Oct 15, 2015 at 11:36 am   /   by   /   comments (0)
Nigeria’s school feeding programme, known as Nutrition Smart Agriculture School Feeding Programme, is to be fashioned after the Brazilian model, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Arc. Sonny Echono, has disclosed.
Echono who disclosed this during a Trade Mission visit by a delegation of Brazilian businessmen to the ministry in Abuja, said the MoU is ready for execution in due course.
The areas of collaboration between Nigeria and Brazil in this regard as disclosed by the Permanent Secretary include the restructuring of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria after EMPRAPA and engagement of the Nigeria Agribusiness Group with its Brazilian counterpart.
The delegation of leading agribusinesses from southern Brazil was comprised of agricultural equipment manufacturers and research institutions.
“Brazil school feeding programme is second only to that of the United States of America in size and depth; 40 million school children are fed daily at an estimated annual cost of over 2 billion USD.” shared by the Federal, States, Local Governments, Communities and the private sector,” Echono said.
He explained that the Nigeria Government is highly interested in how to increase productivity and yield of smallholder farmers using the Brazilian co-operative model and technological advancements.
Speaking further, he said, “The yield equation for rice in particular to bridge the actual supply gap of 1.5 million to 2 million Metric Tonnes will adopt measures borrowed from Brazil for Nigeria’s self-sufficiency in rice production and processing.”
Brazil is currently self sufficient in rice production and exports to over 65 countries.
The permanent secretary also revealed that Nigeria is particularly interested in Brazil’s agricultural equipment because of the similarities in the agro-ecological climates of both countries.
The Brazilian Trade Mission told the Permanent Secretary that   the team was in Nigeria to engage the Nigerian business community and to introduce the Brazilian co-operative model which in 2014 made more than 1 billion USD and has been helping small holder farmers to export their products.
The mission assured of its readiness to build technology for the peculiar need of Nigerian rice farmers and used the meeting to invite the Permanent Secretary and Directors of the ministry to an agribusiness fair in Brazil, scheduled for  9th – 13th March, 2016. According to the mission, over 74 countries took part in the fair in 2014.
In his remarks, the Nigerian Ambassador to Brazil, H. E Ambassador Adamu Emozozo, stated that because rice has become a staple food in Nigeria, it becomes very imperative for the country to do more research on rice to be able to feed itself and compete at the International Level.
Ambassador Emozozo said Brazil is one of the top five producers of agricultural equipment in the world, hence the need for Nigeria and Brazil to partner in agriculture to achieve self-sufficiency in food.