By Moses Nosike
In a bid to enhance the optimisation of Nigeria’s agric sector, Corteva Agriscience, agriculture division of DowDuPont, has disclosed that it is partnering Nigerian farmers on seed development technology to boost food productivity in the country.
President, Corteva Agriscience, Africa Middle East, Prabdeep Bajwa, made this known during this year’s seed connect conference and expo organised by the National Agricultural Seeds Council in Abuja recently.
He explained that the country’s agricultural sector is vital to the overall economy because of its importance to the economy. “The agric sector is only second to oil as the leading contributor to the gross domestic product. The farming sector employs around 70 per cent of the population and the country’s small farms produce 80 per cent of the total food, while 33 per cent of land is under cultivation for this purpose”.
The company’s president for Africa Middle East region said that Nigeria is one of the leading African countries in farming based on levels of productivity and profitability.
He highlighted the company’s continued footprint expansion across African markets, saying that it is committed to serving agricultural sector optimisation by providing the best insights, products and technology to farmers and a market that is under-served.
“Nigeria’s abundant resources are a great foundation on which to build a sustainable agricultural sector. I believe the utilisation of technological innovations can help overcome local challenges. We’re committed to ensuring that Corteva Agriscience is an enabling collaborator for the Nigerian agricultural sector”.
Speaking on the Federal Government’s Agriculture Promotion Policy 2016-2020 document also known as the Green Alternative, the Commercial Director, Corteva Agriscience, North West, West, and Central Africa region, Alain Pescay, explained that the company will support the initiative which is aimed at achieving food security goals, import substitution, job creation, and economic diversification.
“We are committed to supporting government in advancing its agriculture sector—the critical foundation of any successful economy and country,” he said, adding that “we can’t do this alone and collaboration is central to what we do in Nigeria.”
Corteva Agriscience already has presence in Nigeria through its pioneer brand seeds, crop protection solutions as well as collaboration with Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc. to develop maize hybrid seed in the country.
Other projects include collaborating with several NGOs on the bid for a new $60 million USAID West Africa trade hub, engaging with USAID to develop a concept for a new Global Development Alliance related to smallholder farmers, as well as collaborating with USAID and CNFA in Nigeria to advance demo plots and extension services through the USAID maize value chain project.