The United States Agency for International Development has set aside $2 million for agriculture in a bid to support the Nigerian government in developing the agricultural sector.
Disclosing this in Abuja on Monday, the U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission, Maria Brewer, stated that the two-year partnership was aimed at ensuring profitable markets for over 45,000 farmers in seven states across the federation.
“Under the Feed the Future initiative, the USAID partners the private sector to support smallholder farmers in Nigeria. Through the partnership, USAID addresses development and business challenges by increasing access to improved agricultural inputs and mechanisation, better quality technical advisory services, and expanding market opportunities for farmers.
“The partnership capitalises on the untapped potential of youths in agriculture, and help build the capacity of young entrepreneurs to grow their businesses, create secure jobs, and boost economic growth in Nigeria. Under the $2m two-year partnership, anticipated results include increased access to smart tractors, improved seeds, and profitable markets for over 45,000 smallholder farmers in seven states and the Federal Capital Territory.”
Brewer said the US government would be partnering with local agribusinesses – Babban Gona and Hello Tractor – to assist farmers in accessing smart tractors and improved seeds.
She said Babban Gona Company would address the financial challenges of farmers by forming strong cooperatives called Trust Groups. The cooperatives would enable maize, rice, and soybean farmers to gain access to new markets and sell at premium prices.
While Hello Tractor would take care of the need among smallholder farmers for consistent and sustainable mechanization services. Adding that it would design a versatile smart tractor with eight attachments to serve the needs of farmers throughout the farm production cycle.