By Victor Asije/Lagos
Mr Jagdeep Kapoor, Head of Chancery, High Commission of India, in Lagos, on Thursday announced his government’s plans to encourage Nigerian farmers to plant beans and peas, called pulses, that would be exported to India.
Kapoor told the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) in Lagos that the initiative would create a source of income for Nigerian farmers, as well as ensure steady flow of the produce to India.
The Indian Official said that the project would be a priority in India and Nigeria’s 2017 Civil Aviation and Agriculture Cooperation Agreements, that would soon be formalised by both governments.
“Nigeria and India’s fresh areas of cooperation in 2017 would focus mostly on the signing of the Civil Aviation and Agriculture Agreements, that would soon be formalised by our two governments.
“And as soon as these agreements are signed, we would swing into action
in ensuring their immediate implementation.
“We believe that the development of Nigeria’s agriculture sector would fast-track Nigeria’s economy into a ‘ fix quick mould’.
“We believe that the development of Nigeria’s agricuture sector would be a quick way to fix Nigeria’s economy.We are really trying to cooperate with Nigeria in the development of her agriculture sector,’’ he said.
The Indian official announced his government’s readiness to encourage Nigerian farmers to plant pulses(dal),that would be largely exported to India for industrial and household consumption.
Kapoor listed such pulses to include dry beans, dry broad beans, dry peas, chickpeas, cow peas, pigeon peas, lentils, Bambara beans, vetches, lupins and pulses nes.
The Head of Chancery said that there was currently a growing demand for pulses in India and that Nigerian soil was rich for planting and production of the leguminous crops.
Kapoor said that his government would be sending some Indian farmers to Nigeria to support Nigerian farmers in the planting of the crops.
“We are going to be encouraging Nigerian farmers to plant pulses, that are currently needed in large quantities in India. And India is a ready market for these crops today.
“We know how much Nigerian soil is really good for the planting of these highly-needed crops in India. We strongly believe that the planting of these crops in Nigeria would make Indians have more supply of pulses, generate income that would
encourage more young Nigerians into planting these crops for export,’’