• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Enterprise Ireland fosters Irish- Nigeria collaboration in agrifood innovation


Enterprise Ireland, the Irish government organisation responsible for development and growth of its enterprises across the globe, has fostered collaboration between the country and Nigeria to drive food system innovation.

The collaboration will open up opportunities for Nigeria to scale new innovation in agrifood to narrow its increasing food gap while learning from the Ireland food system model.

Nicola Kelly, director of Sub-Saharan Africa at Enterprise Ireland, said there is a deep and historic tie between Ireland and Nigeria, a relationship which has been evolving and deepening over recent years with the growing vibrant Nigerian community in Ireland.

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“Ireland has a strong economic relationship with Nigeria and as the trade and innovation agency, Enterprise Ireland supports Irish companies to create new economic ties across Sub-Saharan Africa,” she said.

According to her, Irish businesses are well poised to assist Nigeria with the technologies, resources, and farming knowledge they need to succeed in developing its agriculture sector.

“Through Irish Agri-tech solutions, Nigeria can leapfrog legacy challenges and make significant strides towards gaining the food security it desires,” she said.

“Access to Irish farming equipment will help the Nigerian Agriculture industry currently struggling with importing equipment, supply chain time delays, and costly repairs,” she stated.

She added that Irish agricultural intellectual capital can assist Nigerian farmers in streamlining farming processes and adopting modern approaches to farming that the Enterprise Ireland is a bridge to.

Also, Charlie McConalogue, Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, said both countries will continue to share ideas and intertwine their strengths.

McConalogue, whose visit is on developing political and economic relationships in the West African region, and enhancing Ireland’s cooperation on global challenges associated with food security, climate and environmental adaptation, said Ireland is not just known for its beauty but as the epicentre of agricultural innovation and advancement.

“We have transformed our farming systems using innovative high tech solutions over the years and this speaks volumes about our commitment to innovation,” McConalogue said during an agri-tech event organised by the Enterprise Ireland in Lagos recently.

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According to him, agritech will be critical in delivering on climate and sustainability targets set for the agri and food industry, not just Ireland but across the globe.

“As a top 10 nation for innovation in the EU and top 15 globally, Ireland is known as a hub where food knowledge meets modern science and innovation and the beneficiary is our food sector,” he said.

He noted that Ireland’s agricultural voyage of innovations are driven by efforts of industry leaders.
“These companies are scripting the next chapter of agricultural histories, pioneering advanced techniques in artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things and robotics, and addressing some of the industry’s toughest challenges.”

“Their efforts have not only borne fruit domestically, but have also created ripples across borders with their innovation expos.” “We also have committed as a country to sharing the expertise underpinning the transformation we’ve seen in recent years.”

Peter Ryan, Ambassador of Ireland to the Federal Republic of Nigeria said that Ireland’s success in its agriculture has been the connection between the public sector and private sector innovation.

“We are so excited to use today as a photo springboard to continue that collaboration to find things that we can do together or at least to hear one another’s story more,” Ryan said.

Nigeria is the largest market for Irish agrifood goods in Africa with exports worth €208 million in 2022, increasing by 14 percent over 2021, with dairy, seafood and beverage products the main export categories.