NIGERIA – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched a US$300 million agribusiness investment initiative in Nigeria that seeks to promote private-sector investment in agriculture.
Dubbed as the ‘Feed the Future Nigeria Agribusiness Investment Activity’ invest investment will be implemented under a new contract entered between USAID and the Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), an international agricultural development organisation.
Through CNFA, USAID will work to improve the ease of doing business in the agricultural sector and broaden access to finance by mitigating the credit risks of agribusinesses.
The five year project is also aimed at promoting investment opportunities for agribusinesses to expand and scale up operations.
According to the US Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria, US$200 million will be spent to facilitate new lending under the Agribusiness Investment Activity and US$100 million in new investment across the five crops.
The investment will be implemented in seven states across the country including Kaduna, Niger, Kebbi, Benue, Delta, Ebonyi, and Cross River States.
“This activity will pursue a unique, robust business-centred strategy to implement this Feed the Future initiative in Nigeria,” said Chief of Party Adam Saffer.
“Under this approach, the activity will partner with domestic and multinational companies in order to more effectively bridge the gap between government and the private sector – and to distribute the economic benefits of the project more broadly across Nigeria’s agribusiness sector.”
The Agribusiness Investment aims to collaborate with the Nigerians agribusiness sector to integrate and upgrade micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and producer organizations as high-performing commercial actors.
The initiative will cover the rice, maize, soy, cowpea, and aquaculture value chains.
The United States said that this is in line with the governments’ commitment to broaden the economy, increase the quality, quantity, market access and diversification of Nigeria’s agribusiness sector.
“Through advocacy for streamlined regulations, more effective policies, improved production and processing practices, and significantly increased finance and investment flows, the activity will help Nigerian entrepreneurs increase the competitiveness and returns of both large and small agricultural enterprises,” said the US embassy in a statement.
This activity also aims to help the country develop and strengthen a more business-enabling environment through the promotion of private-sector investment in agriculture.