University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) and ABX Agro-Allied Services Limited have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to drive agro export in Nigeria.
Under the MoU, UNN will support ABX and the Federal Government to achieve the terms of reference of the Committee on the development of agriculture as an alternative to oil in revenue generation and foreign exchange earnings policy.
To this end, UNN and ABX will work vigorously in assisting the country and farmers obtain International Standard Organization (ISO) and GAP (Good Agricultural Practice) products certifications respectively for different agro-allied crops and products.
They will also partner with other stakeholders to improve the competence and capacity of rural farmers and agro-allied SMES in achieving international standards.
UNN Vice Chancellor , Prof. Charles Igwe, said the MoU was in line with the objective of the institution by collaborating with other public or private organizations in research in various disciplines including agriculture and the promotion of agro- allied export.
Prof Igwe stated the preparedness of the Institution to provide facilities such as land, buildings, electricity and training equipment like ICT gadgets and the pooling of intellectual content and capacity building, for the success of Nigeria’s agro-export programme.
On his part, Chief Executive Officer of ABX Agro-Allied Services Limited, Captain John Okakpu, described the partnership as a giant step towards facilitating an agro-export friendly system for the country and entrenching international acceptance standards.
He said : “As you are aware, we are pursuing the mandate of formulating and implementing policies and programmes to attract investment, boost industrialization, increase trade and exports and develop enterprise. So, with UNN on board, things will get a lot easier for us.
“We are resolute to source for funds to support this project; facilitate ISO and GAP certifications of products for export and provide technical experts for capacity building sessions”, Captain Okakpu said.
The agreement shall last for five years in the first instance and may be renewed as long as the objectives and goals are achieved for the partners in driving the national goal of sustainable agricultural development of non-oil economy for Nigeria.