The United States government, through USAID, backed 18,000 Nigerian businesses with a $15.7 million Agribusiness Investment, boosting agricultural finance and productivity in seven states.
This Agribusiness Investment initiative, operating in Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Kebbi, and Niger, has mobilized over N188 billion ($244 million) in agricultural investments. This funding not only provides crucial financial access but also fortifies their operations, enabling expansion in aquaculture, cowpea, maize, rice, and soybean production.
Agriculture stands as a cornerstone of Nigeria’s economy, with 35% of the workforce engaged in this sector. Although the potential is immense, challenges persist – high operational costs, limited financial access, and regulatory barriers.
In collaboration with federal and state ministries, USAID commits to enhancing agricultural productivity and food security programs.
Michelle Corzine, the Director of the USAID/Nigeria Economic Growth and Environment Office, said “We have seen remarkable improvements in the agricultural sector, and it is essential that public and private-sector actors continue to collaborate to ensure that we continue to improve the business environment for Nigeria’s farmers.””
The closeout event witnessed over 150 attendees, including Dr. Ernest Umakhihe, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, along with USAID officials, and various public-private sector partners. This joint effort signifies a step forward in fortifying Nigeria’s agricultural landscape.