The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, has commended the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for supporting the nation’s agricultural value chain development with $500 million.
Speaking when he received the new country representative of the fund, Ms Ndine Gbossa, in his office in Abuja, Lokpobiri applauded the development partner, saying the fund had played critical roles in making Nigeria the highest producer of rice and cassava in Africa.
“We take our partnership with IFAD very seriously and we appreciate the investments and the support that we are getting from you. Today, Nigeria is rated as the highest producer of rice and cassava in Africa, courtesy of IFAD’s intervention and the Anchor Borrowers programme and Nigerians answering the clarion call of this administration to go back to the farms to produce what we eat and eat what we produce,” he said.
Gbossa stated that Nigeria remains a very important partner of IFAD and has also attracted the highest investment in Africa, noting that, “altogether, we have investment in Nigeria that is worth half a billion dollars. Nigeria is one of the biggest investment countries for IFAD. So, it is a very important country.”
Gbasso further disclosed that IFAD had set aside another $100 million for investment in Nigeria for 2019, but is applying caution to know the outcome of the coming election before releasing the fund.