Nigeria Seeks US Assistance To Address Agricultural Challenges

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News in brief: Nigeria’s vice president requested US assistance for improving its agricultural sector with focus on mechanisation, quality seeds, and fertilisation, among other areas.

Nigeria has sought assistance from the United States government to address critical issues affecting its agricultural industry.

The appeal was made during a meeting between Nigeria’s vice president, Kashim Shettima, and the United States’ Special Envoy for Global Food Security, Cary Fowler, recently.

As reported by the State House press, the meeting was part of VP’s ongoing diplomatic engagements in the United States.

Shettima said Nigeria needs the US’ support in addressing challenges in the agricultural sector that included technical and other areas.

For example, he highlighted the importance of mechanisation, good quality seeds, fertilisation, improved agricultural practices, smart agriculture as some areas that the country sought help in improving. He added that the Nigeria’s focus is on increasing yield and improving productivity.

The vice president assured Fowler, during the discussion, that the Tinubu administration was eager to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to enhance agricultural productivity in Nigeria and Africa as well.

In his response, the US Global Envoy for Food Security said that the US Government and other key stakeholders like the African Union (AU) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations have initiated an African-centric agricultural programme for the continent’s benefit.

He remarked that this initiative is termed Vision for Adapted Crops and Soil and its objective is to provide African nations, from the national level down to individual farmers, ineffective soil management solutions while ensuring both sustainability and productivity.

Fowler also expressed concerns about the impact of climate change on crops in Africa. He stressed that the programme will address these sort of challenges.

He further revealed that there is a multi-donor trust fund at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to fund the long-term program with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) participating as well.

The US government has allocated $100 million to the programme, Fowler said. He urged for the APC-led government to particpate in the initiative with its political push while expressing the hope that it is a more permanent effort which can be institutionalised. Additionally, he emphasised the need for Africans to lead this programme.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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