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Agro exports are encouraging entrepreneurship in Italy and Nigeria

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ITA Director for West Africa, Dr Alessandro Gerbino

The Italian Trade Agency (ITA) is collaborating with the Federal Government to help producers and agribusinesses build more jobs for young people. 

Dr Alessandro Gerbino, ITA Director for West Africa, said the organization is delivering a one-stop-shop for export-oriented companies to learn about regional and foreign trade prospects at a virtual conference. He went on to say that the organization provides companies with tailored business consulting services and training, as well as assisting them in properly understanding international demand for such goods and the technological conditions for market entry, as well as facilitating regional and export market linkages. 

According to him, the organization is setting the groundwork for exporters to satisfy global market demands, and ITA is committed to assisting small and medium businesses (SMEs) in taking advantage of opportunities to sell to the European Union (E.U.)

With 31.9 billion euros in agricultural value added in 2019, Italy maintained its lead in the EU. The Italian agro-food chain, on the other hand, has shown resiliency in ensuring food supply to customers. Agriculture is undergoing a transformation as a result of the rapid technological advancements of recent years. Satellites, helicopters, proximal cameras, applications, and robots are among the latest agricultural devices and resources that are providing agronomic and economic benefits. Following years of implementing international sanitary and phytosanitary regulations to increase their health status and willingness to enter markets, Italy has strengthened its lead in fruit and vegetable exports. Gerbino said that the organization’s goal is to allow more Nigerians to enter the export market by developing their food safety knowledge across the horticulture supply chain. 

According to him, there are quality assurance benchmarks for achieving E.U. industry specifications. The European market loves Italian agricultural goods because they meet the highest quality and food protection standards in the world. He said that Nigerian agricultural products have difficulty entering the European Union market unless they meet food protection and quality control requirements. Fresh exports, he said, must be accompanied by a Global Good Agricultural Practices (Global Gap) credential. 

ITA launched the E-Lab Innova training program to help agribusiness companies develop their technological and management capabilities in order to support their entry into European Union markets. He explained that the scheme, which was introduced in collaboration with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPA), aims to promote business relations with Italian companies while also strengthening the Nigerian supply chain, local market growth, and job opportunities. Other goals include fostering prospects for technical industrial collaborations with Italian companies and encouraging technological transfer and growth based on the concept of Italian agribusiness districts. 

Furthermore, ITA is assisting Nigerian agribusiness exporters in attending MacFrut, a big international event that will bring together industry suppliers and buyers in September. 

Enrico Turoni, Presidente, Camera di Commercio Italo-Argentina, stated that the Italian private sector is ready to assist fruit and vegetable farmers and exporters in meeting foreign food quality and safety standards, allowing them to market their goods in Europe and increase their profits. Turoni, who is also the President of the Italian-Argentine Chamber of Commerce, said that there is a demand for ginger exporters. According to him, demand is projected to increase in the coming years, and prices are gradually increasing. The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Germany are Europe’s largest three economies. 

Tarek Chazli, Deputy Head of Mission at the Italian Embassy in Abuja, stated that the agribusiness sector has gained strategic importance. According to him, Italian food companies did well in international markets. He said that the Nigerian-Italian relationship will support agribusiness development by allowing for the manufacture of machinery and component pieces, as well as fertilizer and industrial chemicals. The two countries have had strong bilateral ties in commerce, finances, growth, and humanitarian aid for several years.

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