US launches fresh $2m support for Nigeria’s agric scheme

The United States Government, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), on Monday, launched two new partnerships valued at $2 million with local agribusinesses to assist in boosting agricultural programme  in Nigeria.

The $2 million two-year partnership targets to achieve increased access to smart tractors, improved seeds and profitable markets for over 45,000 smallholder farmers across seven states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). It is to execute the programme through Babban Gona and Hello Tractor firms.

Speaking at the launch of the programme at the US Embassy, the Deputy Chief of Mission, Maria Brewer, described the partnership as a co-investment in public goods.

She noted that innovation and entrepreneurship hold the key to unlocking Nigeria’s agriculture potential while the US government will continue to provide support in that direction.

The envoy stated that under the “Feed the future initiative”, the USAID partners with the private sector to support smallholder farmers in Nigeria.

Through the partnerships, she noted that USAID addresses development and business challenges by increasing access to improved agricultural inputs and mechanisation, better quality technical advisory services and expanding market opportunities for smallholder farmers.

According to her, the US government was pleased to host the launch, which she observed would accelerate production, improve processing and increase firms’ marketing capabilities.

Brewer further observed that Nigeria was one of the most innovative, dynamic, and entrepreneurial countries in the world and that the US government was proud to partner with the private sector for the good of the Nigerian agriculture sector.

“Together, we are creating a new model of development.  This model includes working with international organisations, civil society, local governments, researchers and the private sector.  In turn, these partnerships help feed a growing population with access to fewer natural resources.