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Benin Republic, Nigerian rice farmers partner to boost production

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The Republic of Benin government has entered into a partnership with the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) to boost local rice production in the neighbouring West African country.

The RIFAN National President, Alhaji Aminu Goronyo, disclosed this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

Goronyo said the association had visited Cotonou, Benin Republic, on the invitation of the country’s President, Patrice Talon, to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the matter.

He said the visit followed an earlier meeting between Talon and his Nigerian counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari, in Abuja.

The RIFAN president said he briefed the Benin Republic leader on how the association succeeded in transforming rice production in Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Rice farmers association chair arrested for allegedly stealing fertilizers, insecticide

He said: “We developed a template that was adopted by the Central Bank of Nigeria and accepted by our President, Muhammadu Buhari, which as a result, Nigeria is today a rice self-sufficient nation.

“We have more than 12 million farmers working with us producing most of the rice paddy the country needs.

“The Benin Republic can also leverage that rice to feed her people and export excess to neighbouring countries, including Nigeria.”

Goronyo said Talon told the leaders of the association that the closure of Nigerian borders with Benin served as an eye-opener to both countries.

“Talon pledged to work with Nigeria to stop the smuggling of rice,’’ the RIFAN chief added.

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