The United States on Thursday announced that it had invested about $165m (N50.56bn at the official exchange rate of N307 to one dollar) in the development of Nigeria’s agricultural sector in four years through its Feed the Future initiative, Punch Newspaper has reported.
It also signed an agreement on the declaration of partnership with the Federal Government to begin a five-year agriculture programme known as Feed the Future Nigeria Country Plan.
The Chargé d’affaires, US Embassy, Abuja, Kathleen FitzGibbon, while speaking at the inauguration of the Global Food Security Strategy/Feed the Future Nigeria Country Plan, stated that the aim of the programme was to further increase investments in food security, build greater resilience and improve household nutrition across the country.
FitzGibbon stated that the newly inaugurated country plan would build on the successes of Feed the Future’s $165m investment in Nigeria since 2015, as well as ensure that farmers were connected with suppliers, improve agricultural extension services and stimulate market growth.
The US official stated that the country plan was a five-year roadmap to boost agribusiness, assist communities to withstand unanticipated shocks such as drought that affect food production, and improve the health of some of the country’s most vulnerable communities.
According to FitzGibbon, the five-year country plan will focus on Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Kebbi, Niger, Adamawa, Borno, Gombe and Yobe states, adding that they would help develop five of the government’s prioritised agricultural value chains including aquaculture, cowpea, maize, rice and soybeans.