The French government and a Nigerian firm, JR Farms have signed a strategic partnership agreement that will offer African farmers industrial networking, global practices and access to stakeholders in business circles.
JR Farms is a multinational agribusiness company with operations in Nigeria, Rwanda and Zambia. It had over the years grown its operations across Africa and beyond through partnerships and commercial scale investments into various economies.
The company worked with various multilateral institutions, private sector and government across Africa and beyond.
The agreement which was sealed on Tuesday in Paris was facilitated by the French Embassy, Nigeria Agriculture Counsellor’s Office and the French Ministry of Agriculture.
According to the stakeholders, the agreement would expose agribusiness entrepreneurs to innovations, agribusiness partnership opportunities, access to French and European Union market standards and opportunities.
Beginning with the first cohort in February 2024, the training, to be hosted across three training institutes in France, would run for a period of eight weeks after which the participants would be issued certificates.
It covered areas of agribusiness, including livestock, value chain optimisation, winery, crop production, food production, food safety, farm waste management, product packaging and marketing among others.
The Senior Agriculture Counsellor of the French Embassy Nigeria/West Africa, Dr. Sonia Darracq, said France was committed to improvement of technical colleges of agriculture and the modernisation of curricula in Nigeria, with a dedicated grant from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or via the French Development Agency.
Darracq said, “This executive training programme aims to bridge the knowledge gap, foster innovation and facilitate valuable networking opportunities for participants.
“Moreover, it serves as a testament to the strengthening of economic and diplomatic ties between France and Nigeria. We look forward to the inaugural cohort in February 2024 and we are confident that it will contribute to the growth and success of agribusiness in Nigeria and beyond.”
The Chief Executive Officer of JR Farms Global operations, Olawale Opeyemi, said the company considered the development as very important initiative between France and Africa.
He said while Africa had huge agribusiness potentials, knowledge gap had kept agribusiness development in the continent low.