Speech presented by Raphael Oni, (Nigeria) at the Opening Ceremony of the International Training Program on “The Belt and Road” Modern Agro-Tech Innovation on Wednesday 5th of July 2017
When I was called upon to prepare a welcome speech by the organizer on behalf of other participants, I was wondering why me? However, I quickly and gladly accept this noble responsibility as I am sold to the Belt and Road Forum for International Corporation. I am truly grateful to stand here representing others at this time.
China made history for hosting the biggest diplomatic event in May 2017. The two days world events applauded by media men around the globe ended with hope for the common man. As the curtains were drawn in Beijing on the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) a global blueprint was released, setting up the stage for greater economic integration for globalization. The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, held in Beijing, has no doubt revealed China’s ability to lead globally.
During the BRF Summit, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs all initiated a vision and action plan on promoting Agricultural Cooperation on the Belt and Road. This shows how important the issue of agriculture is to the present global agenda. The objective is to fulfill the needs and aspirations of most of the countries along the Belt and Road for solving the problems of famine and poverty, as well as for achieving food and nutrition security.
The Chinese government has proposed Agreements to seek closer cooperation in agricultural trade and investment between the major economic corridors to be driven by exchanges in agricultural science and technology. By so doing , China will actively partake in the development of regional agricultural cooperation platforms, increase agricultural investment in least developed countries, facilitate the implementation of 10 cooperation plans between China and Africa, mobilize the “South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund,” promote the South-South
Cooperation in agriculture, support developing countries to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, engage in agricultural cooperation with developed countries innovatively, assist in the formation of a new pattern of relationship on agricultural cooperation and promote agricultural sustainability in the world.
The scheme proposed by China will actively promote the building of overseas demonstration industrial parks for agricultural cooperation and domestic cooperative experiment zones for agricultural opening-up and cooperate with Belt and Road countries on so many issues relating to making live worth living for the common man.
This involves, sharing agricultural technologies, experience and development modalities, joint plans and implement key projects. This will enhance comprehensive grain productivity in the region, science and technology cooperation and demonstration, joint prevention and control of animal and plant diseases and outbreaks, agricultural vertical integration, strengthening trade infrastructure, building the platform for agricultural experts to emerge, training and developing an IT application network for agriculture.
On this basis, we are here today to undergo this international training and return back to our various countries as individual who will be at the forefront of driving home the Belt and Road Initiatives. On behalf of all the participants of the International Training Program on “The Belt and Road” Modern Agro-Tech Innovation, I thank the organizers, the International Cooperation Division Ministry of Science and Technology in China, the sponsors; Institute of Cross-Strait Development Tsinghua University (ICSD) and Institute of China-Russia Strategic Cooperation, Tsinghua University (ICRSC) and all relevant government agencies for giving us this wonderful opportunity.
I want to congratulate my fellow participants for being the first set of individuals benefiting from the training program after the success of the Belt and Road Forum in May this year. The knowledge that will be impacted in us, will make us to stand out and be outstanding when we return back to our various countries as we inject a new bit to the agricultural sectors.
The training and impartation from this International Training Program on “The Belt and Road” Modern Agro-Tech Innovation will indeed be of great value as we add new bits to our operation back in our home land. Take for instance my country, Nigeria.Nigeria is so blessed with good soil and we can boast of having rainfall for eight months in some parts of the country. Our soil and climatic condition is very suitable for the production of wide verities of crops, there are over a hundred different food crops produced by farmers in Nigeria on yearly basis which includes yam, maize, millet, sorghum, beans, potatoes, rice, onions garbage, carrot, pear, cocoa, cocoa yam, okra, vegetables and very many others despite all these opportunities we keep missing the mark because of lack of adequate technology know how. With training like this, Nigeria will hit the mark.
Agriculture in Nigeria has greatly improved in the past few years because of the advent of technology and other necessary infrastructures and most especially the recent economy recession have made a lot of people to be looking towards it. Although Nigeria depends heavily on the oil industry for its budgetary revenue it is believed that if the agricultural sector is properly managed and enhanced, it would greatly boost the country’s gross domestic product and even replace oil on the top of the list, considering the vast area of land that is unused in Nigeria. A training of this nature will not just impact knowledge but will form a basis for collaboration and networking for us as participants and by extension our countries with China, and a result we would fulfill the aims of the Belt and Road Initiative.
I want to assure you all that we will be noble ambassadors of the Institute of Cross-Strait Development Tsinghua University (ICSD) and Institute of China-Russia Strategic Cooperation, Tsinghua University (ICRSC) and promise to promote the “Belt and Road” Modern Agro-Tech Innovation in our various countries and the entire globe.
Thank you all for your attention.