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Friday, December 1, 2023

Green Agriculture West Africa: Boosting rice production in Nigeria

In 2006, CGCOC Group Co. Ltd. embarked on agriculture investment by establishing Green Agriculture West Africa Ltd. (GAWAL) in Nigeria. Since its inception, GAWAL has positioned itself to become a partner for China-Africa agricultural development and a bridge for China-Africa agricultural cooperation.

“In the past years, it has been recognized in Nigeria not only as a renowned large-scale seed company but also a comprehensive agricultural company with such businesses as agricultural machinery and equipment, construction and operation of agriculture industrial park, agro-processing, agricultural technical training, agro-product trading and agricultural consultancy, among others.

Beginning with seed business, in 2010, GAWAL obtained the seed license from the Nigerian National Agricultural Seeds Council (NASC). In 2011, GAWAL started to produce and supply rice seeds, developing diversified seed business based on the local planting structure.

Since then, apart from running a 2025-ha mechanized demonstration farm in Kebbi State, the company has set up seven seed production cooperatives with more than 5,000 small-holder farmers in Nigeria; through training and disseminating rice and maize seed production techniques to local farmers, it has developed these farmers as its out-growers, helping them get rid of poverty and increase their income.

Currently, the company has an annual seed production capacity of over 10,000 MT. From 2011 to date, GAWAL has supplied over 20,000 MT of quality, seeds including certified rice seeds, certified maize seeds and foundation rice seeds to Nigeria farmers in over 30 states through such government programmes as Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme, Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) and NIRSAL-sponsored ABP as well as the state governments’ direct seed procurement projects.

After many years’ research and development in seeds, the company in 2017 successfully registered a high-yield rice variety – GAWAL R1 in Nigeria, which has an average yield of 30 per cent, higher than the most popular local rice variety. Due to the good quality and high yield, our seeds have been widely recognized by Nigerian governments and farmers.

On the construction and operation of Agriculture Industrial Park, the company in

2013, started to establish the CGCOC Agriculture High-tech Abuja Industrial Park by investing on its own. Its main functions include seed and seedling research and development, crop cultivation demonstration, horticulture protected agriculture, agro-input and agricultural equipment sales services.

Others are seed processing, agricultural product circulation and processing, micro grid power supply system, agricultural technical training, agriculture-related consultancy and services.

“The park is also the project site of China-Aid Nigerian Agriculture Technology Demonstration Center. Completed in December 2022, the Center has been transferred to GAWAL for the operation and management to ensure its success. The Center mainly includes Agricultural Technology Training Center, Agricultural Technology Research and Service Centre, Agro-Input and Machinery Exhibition Center, Small Scale Agro-Processing Technology Exhibition Center, Power Centre, Photovoltaic Pump Water-saving Irrigation System.

The Agricultural Technical Training was in collaboration with WAAPP (West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme). The company successfully implemented the projects of fish cage culture in two states and biogas digester construction in 12 states in Nigeria from 2014 to 2015, in which over 300 farmers and technicians were trained through the indoor training and on-site demonstration.

In order to enhance the agricultural exchange and cooperation between China and Nigeria, since 2016, the company has undertaken the agricultural technical training programmes sponsored by Chinese Government and trained over 400 governmental officials from across Nigeria.

The agricultural experts of the company not only taught and shared the knowledge of modern agricultural technology in such areas as seed production, rice and vegetable cultivation, seed breeding technology, soil and fertilizer sciences, agricultural machinery and pest control.

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