AgribusinessAgricultureInvestor ActivityNigeria

US Invests Nearly $200 Million in Nigeria’s Agricultural Sector in Five Years, Ensuring Food Security

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US Invests Nearly $200 Million in Nigeria’s Agricultural Sector in Five Years, Ensuring Food Security

The United States government on Thursday, March 21, said it has invested almost $200 million in food security in Nigeria in the last five years.

The US also allocated $150 million as grants to thirty-three Nigerian private sector companies.

David Greene, the U.S. Acting Ambassador to Nigeria, announced an investment of $22 million in Nigeria’s cocoa value chain, covering seven states.

Greene who is also US Embassy Charge de Affairs, spoke in Abuja at the 2024-2029 Global Food Security Strategy Launch.

The application of the Global Food Security Strategy for Nigeria over the next five years is poised to amplify agricultural productivity and catalyze economic development driven by the agricultural sector.

However, Greene noted that despite external support, Nigerians are the most capable of addressing their own challenges.

  • The U.S. government is providing broad assistance across Nigeria to support agriculture development. As Melissa mentioned, USAID invested almost $200 million in agriculture for the last five years to improve food security and build household resilience to shocks in Adamawa, Benue, Borno, Cross-River, Delta, Ebonyi, Gombe, Kaduna, Kebbi, Niger, and Yobe states.
  • “We also provided modest grants to 33 private-sector companies to leverage over $150 million in private-sector development, generated $306 million in domestic sales, and created over 23,000 jobs.
  • “USAID is one of many U.S. government agencies promoting agricultural development in Nigeria. For example, this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture inaugurated a $22 million, five-year investment in Nigeria’s cocoa value chain, spanning seven states.
  • “The investment improves rural livelihoods by building capacity in cocoa productivity, trade capacity, and traceability,” he said.

U.S. sponsors exchange programmes with Nigeria to boost Production

Furthermore, Greene noted that there are ongoing exchange programs and fellowships between the United States and Nigeria, which are intended to benefit Nigerians educationally.

He referred to one Agada Blessing, a doctoral candidate in soil science at Joshua Sarwuan Tarka University in Benue State, who received support from USAID to pursue research on climate change and fertilizer use at Michigan State University.

  • “In the last two years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has also sponsored more than a dozen scientific exchange fellows to study at U.S. agricultural universities and 30 private sector stakeholders to visit the United States, all so they can come back to improve Nigeria’s crop production, animal breeding, efficient pesticide use, and trade capacity.
  • “Food must be available to buy, and prices must be affordable for all Nigerians. The Nigerian government should embrace the adoption of genetically modified crops to boost the productivity and income of smallholder farmers while removing trade restrictions, including food and agricultural import bans.  Competition and free trade foster creativity and efficiency,” he added.

What you should know

Nigeria has faced a severe food inflation crisis in recent years. In February 2024, the country’s inflation rate jumped to 31.7%, significantly influenced by the removal of petrol subsidies and the unification and devaluation of the official exchange rate as well as insecurity.

  • The increase in food prices has had widespread effects, affecting various staples like bread, cereals, oil, and fats, alongside other essential food items.
  • The food inflation has been particularly harsh, with a year-on-year increase noted across the board, leading to a significant strain on household budgets.
  • Addressing this crisis, the federal government declared a state of emergency on food insecurity, aiming to stabilize the food market and make essentials more affordable.
  • However, the persistent rise in prices suggests a deep-rooted economic challenge, with inflation rates reflecting the broad impact of these fiscal measures on the cost of living.

Source: Nairametrics

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