Every day since the past three years, Bulus Yunusa, an Abuja-based Nigerian farmer, receives calls from the people of his village in northeast Nigeria inquiring about new agricultural techniques that can help their vegetables grow well.
Everyone in his village gives him accolade for being the one who introduced new techniques of modern agriculture to make their agrarian community a habitation of successful farmers.
Yunusa, from the village of Hawul in Nigeria’s northeastern state of Borno, has been a vegetable farmer at a Chinese company for the past five years.
He was introduced to the CGCOC, the Chinese firm in Abuja, by a childhood friend after he left college in Borno and was unemployed, desperately looking for greener pasture.
The 34-year-old man thinks the success of a modern farmer, is measured by all or some of the following abilities which include growing economic seeds, selling them, making huge profits, building at least one comfortable house, owning a vast land for agribusiness.
All these he has achieved since upping his game in farming, by learning modern agricultural techniques from CGCOC as one of the local farmers hired and trained by the Chinese firm.
The CGCOC set up the Green Agricultural Development Company Nigeria Ltd, which later metamorphosed into Green Agricultural West African Company Limited, for the purpose of enhancing the China-Nigeria cooperation in agriculture since 2006.
With a vision to help the west African country achieve its agricultural goals, and enhance food security and sufficiency, the CGCOC has been training local farmers and officials on modern agricultural trends.
And each trainee, like Yunusa, passes on the knowledge to others in their local communities who have not had direct contact with the Chinese firm.
This way, Nigeria is achieving its goal in modern-day agriculture, particularly at a time that the government has a focus on diversifying the economy, and making it more viable, away from oil, its mainstay.
And many of the beneficiaries have continued to testify to the wonders of the new techniques, which have helped on crops like eggplant and many others, bringing more yields.
In Africa, agriculture remains a vital source of employment and income. And the CGCOC, in realizing Nigeria’s potentials in agriculture, has continued to train more and more local people on the modern techniques that can bolster their capacities in achieving the government’s goal for sufficiency and food security.
The Nigerian economy took a hit from declining oil revenues in 2015, forcing the government to seek economic diversification.
Agricultural development has been chosen as one of the key goals to help address the country’s dependence on food imports.
So far, hundreds of Nigerian trainees drawn from federal and state ministries, departments, agencies, and agribusinesses had benefited from training programs held for them at home and in China over the years by CGCOC.
In 2012, the Chinese firm obtained a vast expanse of land in Bwari, a neighborhood in the Nigerian capital city, Abuja, for the construction of an agribusiness park, which aims to feature and capitalize on modern Chinese agriculture and agricultural technology.
The park is also used for the demonstration of collective breed cultivation and other relevant cultivation technologies, as well as the display and sales of agricultural farm machinery and their support services.
It also serves as a promotion platform for land and water resources utilization, agricultural training, gardening, farming, and leisure agriculture.
It is at this park that Yunusa, and many other local workers of CGCOC, continue to hone their skills, enhance their capacity, and increase productivity toward the agricultural development of their country.
“Even my relatives in the village are making use of the experience that I garnered here and that I have taught them. They are experiencing a big change through the new farming techniques of pepper, eggplant, and tomatoes that I have taught them.
“What they produce on their farms now are of higher quantity and quality,” he added. (Xinhua)