The French Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Denys Gauer, has expressed optimism that France through its Development Agency will explore areas of collaboration with Nigeria through Contec Global Agro limited (CGAL), a subsidiary of Contec Global for the development of organic agriculture production.
Speaking during the tour of the company’s tissue culture and bio-solution fertilizer plant facilities in Maitama, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), while being conducted by the Chairman of Contec Global, Dr. Benoy Berry, Gauer, commended the company’s effort to develop organic farming in Nigeria and across West Africa with the aim of solving the problem of food insecurity.
The Ambassador said: ‘’I hope that we will be able to speak up with the French Development Agency to cooperate with Contec Agro Global in what you are doing because we want to contribute also to the development of agriculture in Nigeria as this is one of our priority sectors for the French cooperation. So, we are open to finance projects in that field and this approach is really what is needed.’’
‘’These all together is very unique, very impressive. For me, it is a great satisfaction to see this and at the same time great surprise. I am also very impressed by the fact that you are really willing to develop organic agriculture, to use normal insecticides, normal pesticides which will improve enormously the quality of food in Nigeria and also allow Nigeria to export food to foreign markets which at the moment is not possible because of that massive use of chemicals.’’
On the need for government and private sector to solve the current food challenges in the country, he acknowledged that the country has enormous population that is growing very rapidly and must be provided with food, explaining that the collaboration will help Nigeria meets this need.
Underscoring Nigeria’s agricultural potentials, he said it is a step in the right direction that the company is massively investing in organic agriculture, adding: ‘’Agriculture has not been a priority for many decades because of the revenue came from oil and so agriculture has not been sustained in Nigeria but it now has to be developed.
According to him, Nigeria needs to develop its agriculture first of all to feed its people and to reach that, Nigeria has too develop proper agriculture policy. It will not come alone; you have to develop policy and implement it and with a company like Contec Global Agro with this approach can bring a lot to the definition and implementation of that kind of policy.
In a remark, Dr. Berry expressed optimism on the workability of the collaboration, adding that the impact of chemical fertilizers in growing crops in the country, has made it unattractive to European markets.