The Thailand agribusiness community has received an invitation from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) to take advantage of the huge agricultural opportunities in Nigeria by investing in rice production and other sub-sectors.
Sonny Echono, permanent secretary of FMARD who gave the invitation urged these potential investors to avail themselves of opportunities in the various crop processing zones. He invited Thailand to come to Nigeria and establish rice and other crop production and processing plants for export, disclosing that the Nigerian market is the hub of the West African sub region.
Echono who made the call while receiving a delegation from the Board of Investment of Thailand in Abuja recently, told the Thai team that Nigeria is willing to partner with Thailand to develop her agriculture in order to diversify exports, increase employment level and economic growth.
He welcomed the rice technology plan of the Thai investors and canvassed collaboration in the areas of cassava processing, agricultural machinery and infrastructure. Earlier, the head of the Thai delegation to Nigeria, Werapang Sirimon stated that the team was in Nigeria to see areas of possible investment in the country because Thailand wants to expand her market in food processing.
He explained that the Thai government will be willing to develop Nigeria’s agribusiness sector, adding that the country has been able to build her agricultural production from small to medium scale.
Werapong further disclosed that the Thai government is currently partnering with farmers in Niger state and is working to take the farmers to Thailand for capacity building.
Apart from rice, Thailand is into production of palm oil for export. Thailand is second in the world for sugarcane export and number one in cowpea export.The Thai team was made up of representatives of the business community, the Thai Embassy in Nigeria and Thai Board of Investment.