To boost local enterprises and rural farming, the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) has provided $24 million in grants to various multipurpose cooperative societies in Nigeria.
The Executive Director of Diamond Development Initiatives (DDI) and implementing partner for USADF projects, Mr Adamu Garba, who spoke to journalists on the sidelines of a conference and mini-agriculture fair in Abuja, revealed that the funding was mainly to boost the productivity of the cooperative societies.
Garba said “USADF has invested over $24 million in these cooperatives societies over the years. They are still working in Nigeria and we look forward to getting more assistance from them”. He acknowledged that the purpose of the fair was to showcase the agricultural products from the cooperative societies all around Nigeria, whose projects were funded by USADF and managed by DDI.
The Executive Director, who addressed the issue of food security in the country, noted that “if we make concerted efforts in improving agriculture and backing our words with action, production will increase”.
Garba revealed that over 450,000 people have benefitted from the implementation of USADF projects in Africa, and 60 percent of the beneficiaries are women. He added that about 70 percent of USADF programs in Nigeria have been for developing the agriculture value chain, which has effectively improved the livelihood of the rural people.
President of USADF, Mr. C.D. Glin praised the DDI, the rural entrepreneurs and farmers in Nigeria as well as other stakeholders in the development project. He noted that the organisation had implemented projects in key parts of the country including Kano, Lagos and the Niger Delta.
Glin said “everything we do here is led by Nigerians. We have commitment to Agriculture. We strongly believe that one of the key drivers for Africa’s success, for Nigeria’s success will be in the agricultural sector”.