Conclusion of Agri-Food Trade Mission to West Africa
Significant potential to deepen relationships for mutual benefit
The Agri-Food Trade Mission led by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue T.D., last week, focused on developing trade and economic relationships between Ireland and the West African region.
With engagements in both Nigeria and Senegal at Government-to-Government level, the Trade Mission identified opportunities to collaborate with UN Agencies whom Ireland partners with in addressing food security and humanitarian needs in the region, while supporting the development of sustainable food systems.
The visit also included a range of engagements aimed at promoting Irish agri-food, seafood and beverages, in a region where demand for affordable high-quality products - which Ireland is renowned for - is increasing.
The Minister concluded the Nigeria leg of the Trade Mission by hosting an Enterprise Ireland Agri-Innovation event in Lagos with leading businesses in the agri-food sector and by launching the Bord Bia ‘Spirits of Ireland’ campaign in the market.
Speaking on his return to Ireland, Minister McConalogue stated:
"I am delighted to have visited West Africa this week deepening the relationship with the region both politically and economically. There is immense potential for our dynamic agri-food sector to collaborate further with partners in the region. Such partnerships will support mutual benefits, as we share the common aim of improving the contribution of the agri food sector to our national economies. This Trade Mission has strongly confirmed this significant potential.”
Bord Bia CEO, Jim O’Toole said:
"This has been a successful Trade Mission spanning three cities and two countries over five days. Bord Bia clients met with over 300 trade targets demonstrating the current value and significant potential of the West Africa market. This marks a new phase of engagement for Bord Bia's West Africa team, and I look forward to the follow up in the weeks ahead."
The Trade Mission concluded on Friday in Senegal where senior officials from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, together with Bord Bia and Ireland's new Embassy in Dakar, engaged with Senegalese Ministries of Agriculture, Rural Development and Animal Husbandry and regional Directors of UN Agencies including the World Food Programme (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). There were also a number of trade meetings and Bord Bia hosted a large agri-food business networking event for Irish and Senegalese companies, supported by the Irish Embassy in Dakar.