By Oginyi Nkechinyere
To improve on food security and boost agro-business in Nigeria, government of the United States has signed a declaration of partnership with Nigeria government to launch a-5 year programme, with the theme “Feed the Future Nigeria”.Nigeria’ Program
The U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, Kathleen FitzGibbon, at the launching of Global Food Security Strategy, Feed the Future Nigeria Country, Plan and Declaration of Partnership, which took place at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, said that the partnership on agro-business can improve the standards of living and good health for Nigerian families if the two countries can create and sustain a vast network of local partners and governments dedicated to ensuring that rural communities embrace the business of agriculture to strengthen local economies.
Kathleen said, “I look forward to watching these new ideas grow into significant, palpable achievements that will increase the well-being of Nigeria in the coming years.”
“The U.S. government has invested $165 million toward agriculture and economic development in Nigeria over the last four years. This new Country Plan anticipates continuing our investments in Nigeria’s agriculture over the next five years”.
Head of Policy Communication Unit, International Food Policy Research Institute, Ms Elizabeth Douglas in a statement said the programme was part of the country’s plan to increase investment in food security, build greater resilience and improve household nutrition in the country.
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The statement noted that Feed the Future programme is a United States government initiative coordinated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) working to sustainably reduce global poverty, malnutrition and hunger.
The statement read in parts, “The governments of the United States and Nigeria jointly signed a declaration of partnership to launch a-5 year ‘Feed the Future Nigeria’ Country Plan to increase investments in food security, build greater resilience, and improve household nutrition in the country.
“Feed the Future is a U.S. government initiative coordinated by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) working to sustainably reduce global poverty, malnutrition and hunger.”
“Building on the government of Nigeria’s priorities for food security and nutrition at both the national and state levels, this new plan provides a blueprint for all inclusive and sustainable agriculture-led economic growth, strengthen resilience among people and system, and a well nourished population especially for women and children”.
Ms Douglas further explained that the plan focuses on Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Kebbi, and Niger states, as well as the four northeastern states of Adamawa, Borno, Gombe, and Yobe.
“It is equally expected that the programme will develop five of the government’s prioritized agricultural value chains with the strongest potential for increased productivity and enhanced market linkages such as aquaculture, cowpeas, maize, rice, and soyabeans.