ABUJA, NIGERIA — The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) on Aug. 25 said Nigeria would partner with a Chinese firm to grow sweet sorghum in the country.

It said in a statement that, on behalf of the government, it will work with the company, Sang-Liang Technology Development Centre (STDC) on the partnership.

The statement was issued in Abuja, Nigeria by Chuks Ngaha, RMRDC’s deputy director of public affairs unit.

The council said that the development was part of its efforts to add value to local raw materials in order to stimulate employment opportunities and create wealth for the nation.

“The council is established to develop raw materials and facilitate the adoption of machinery and processes for raw materials utilization,” it said. “The agreement with STDC is for the processing and development of sweet sorghum into food and industrial and energy products to add value to local raw materials and create wealth.’’

The statement explained that the council would receive the sole franchise for the distribution of the improved sweet sorghum seedlings, planting materials and its technology in West Africa.

“The council seeks to domesticate the technology for sweet sorghum production and processing in Nigeria. Consequently, the agreement includes joint establishment of a comprehensive industrial model project on the development of sweet sorghum,’’ it stated.

According to the statement, STDC will provide technical support and expertise, including conducting the initial soil testing and other related activities.

The council said it would also partner with the Niger state government for land provision for the pilot project of cultivating improved sweet sorghum seeds.

It said the state government recently provided some hectares of land for the project.

“This collaboration shall also see STDC facilitating the replication of the sweet sorghum village industry in other states of the federation. The council is already engaged in discussions with various stakeholders in Taraba, Adamawa, Kebbi, Bauchi and Gombe states to fashion out areas of collaboration on the project,’’ the statement added.

Director-General, RMRDC, Hussaini Doko, represented Nigeria while Lyu Wei represented STDC in the signing of the agreement.