Food sufficiency: Minister seeks partnership with US govt

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono has solicited for a stronger partnership and collaboration between the Ministry and the United States of America (USA), through the United States Agency and International Development (USAID), towards achieving food sufficiency and job creation.

The Minister disclosed this when the USAID Delegation led by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Beth Leonard, paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja, recently.

Alhaji Sabo Nanono noted the need for a stronger partnership between the US and Nigeria in the Agricultural sector for food sufficiency and food security.

According to him: ‘’The first priority is to feed ourselves, produce more and create jobs which will, in turn, reduce the huge burden of unemployment.’’

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The Minister informed that there is an on-going 4- year strategic programme in the agricultural sector, like the introduction of mechanized farming to align the country with international best practices which are expected to enhance self-reliance and boost food production in the country.

Nanono stressed that the mechanisation of the agricultural sector would encourage the use of technology for the benefit of the people, promote global best packaging of agricultural products and branding of the products towards ensuring global market penetration.

The Minister also pointed out the need for capacity building which he said was very critical in the sector and also expressed confidence in the huge market and potentials available in the country.

In her remarks, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard said: ’’West Africa is home to many of the World’s fastest-growing economies and a rapidly expanding middle–class consumer base.”

Mary Leonard further said: “Co-investment in Nigeria will focus primarily on key value chains in the agricultural sector including maize, rice, cowpea, soybean and aquaculture.”