Dutch Trade Mission visits IITA
A trade mission delegation from the Netherlands visited IITA on 11 July to discuss critical success factors for agricultural growth. The delegation was led by Loek Hermans, Chairman of Top Sector, Horticulture and Materials, and received by Frederick Schreurs, Chief Executive Officer, IITA Business Incubation Platform.
At the opening meeting, Sylvia Oyinlola, Head of Administration, IITA Western Africa Hub, welcomed the delegates and gave a formal introduction of IITA. She said, “IITA does a very important work that fits into what CGIAR does. Our research translates to development; we then convert it to business through the Business Incubation Platform where it is scaled up.”
The Dutch Trade Mission is made up of about a million members from universities, biofood companies, vocation institutes, entrepreneurs, and NGOs.
The mission has begun to have contacts with Nigerian companies for collaboration and is exploring opportunities for partnerships in agriculture, for Nigeria and Africa at large. Hermans said, “It’s important for us to meet the Institute because they have the knowledge of African agriculture and economy which can be combined with our expertise.”
According to Schreurs, the Dutch Government is looking to spot sustainable businesses in sub-Saharan Africa and the Sahel. Hermans also said, “Discussions are ongoing between the Dutch food and agricultural sector, which is very strong, and we want to give aid to the agricultural sector in Nigeria.”
The delegation had visited Abuja where they met with some farmers and saw new seed that can provide better quality of vegetation.
Schreurs said, “There has been a solid relationship between the Dutch Government and the BIP, and I can say that the Dutch Government is interested in deepening the existing relationships between the Netherlands and Nigeria, through establishment of new businesses and partnerships.”
As part of the visit, the team toured the Institute’s facilities, exploring technologies including Aflasafe, GoSeed, and Nodumax. This was to present areas in which collaborations can be made. Afterwards, there was a question and answer session as well as an exhibition of technologies.