USADF invests US$24m to boost small-scale farming in Nigeria

NIGERIA – The United States Africa Development Foundation has invested about US$24 million (N8.64 billion) towards boosting capacity of farmers in Nigeria, reports the Guardian.

This will help in improving the country’s agricultural sector, critical in meeting food security in the face of a rapidly growing population.

The foundation is looking to drive development of the agricultural sector through partnership, participation and promotion of private sector led initiative.

With the initiative, farmers who are divided into cooperative societies would be able to access more opportunities, particularly more markets for their products through the exhibition.

Speaking during an Agriculture mini-fair, the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Syminton stressed the need for the sector to not only export raw materials but ensure that the products are processed; adding that by so doing the sector would transform more lives.

“I know we are seen as helping you to do the things that you do in the communities but your success is our success; your success is very important to the U.S,” said Jack Leslie, Chairman of the Foundation.

“Everything we do here is led by Nigerians. We have commitment to Agriculture. We strongly believe that one of the key drivers of Africa’s success and Nigeria’s success will be in the agricultural sector.”

According to him, the efforts to diversify the nation’s economy would remain elusive if the agriculture sector is not prioritised.

Speaking on the development, Executive Director, Diamond Development Initiative, Adamu Garba noted that continuous efforts toward improving agriculture as well as necessary actions and policies would increase productivity and boost food security.

“Most of these people are engaged in production but the assistance we provide does not stop at production alone.

We take it a step further, we provide them with machines that they can use to do some processing and as value to the products and get more income,” he said.

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