ABUJA – The United States African Development Fund, USADF, has invested a total of $ 24 million in grants to various cooperative societies in order to boost the growth of local businesses and agriculture in Nigeria over the past few years.
The Executive Director of the Diamond Development Initiative, DDI and the USADF project implementing partner, Mr. Adam Garba, spoke about this at the DDI conference and the mini-fair of agriculture in Abuja
According to him, “For many years, the USADF has invested over $ 24 million in these cooperative societies. They are still working in Nigeria, and we look forward to receiving more help from them. ”
He said that the fair’s goal was to demonstrate agricultural products from cooperative societies throughout Nigeria, whose projects were funded by the USADF and managed by DDI.
Regarding food security, Garba said: “If we make concerted efforts to improve agriculture and keep our words with action, production will increase.”
Garba also said that more than 450,000 people benefited from USADF projects in Africa, of which 60 percent are women.
He noted that about 70 percent of the USADF programs in Nigeria are developing an agricultural value chain to create favorable conditions for improving the lives of rural people.
“I know Danladi Sidi, a rice farmer in the state of Kano, whose yield has tripled because he adopted improved methods of agronomy and followed technical assistance provided,” Garba said.
In his speech, the Ambassador of the United States in Nigeria, Mr. W. Stewart Symington, welcomed the performances and local farmers who improve life, saying: “It is a great honor for me when my time in my life in Nigeria was to hear about the transformational work that you doing so much. "
USADF President / CEO, Mr. C.D. Glyn, who praised DDI, rural entrepreneurs and farmers in Nigeria and other stakeholders in the development project, said the organization works in key parts of Nigeria, including Kano, Lagos and the Niger Delta.
Glyn said: “Everything we do here is led by Nigerians. We have a commitment to agriculture. We firmly believe that one of the key success factors for Africa is that Nigeria’s success will be in the agricultural sector. ”
USADF Chairman Jack Leslie said the United States is funding development projects in Africa, because Africa’s success is important to his country.
He said: “I know that we see that we are helping you to do what you do in the communities, but your success is our success; your success is very important to the United States. "
The fair showed off leather work from Zaria, Harry from Icara in Kaduna State; improving local rice from Kebbi State; refined palm oil, fish food, among others, that added value to it, including branding and packaging.