The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) says it will invest $30 million to boost agriculture in Nigeria within the next four years.
Dr Kehinde Makinde, the Country Team Leader, AGRA, Nigeria, made this known at a workshop on Economic Impact Assessment of the Micro Reforms for African Agribusiness (MIRA) project, on Wednesday in Abuja.
He explained that the money would be used to support small holder farmers across the country.
He said that the project, which would focus on promoting rice, maize and cassava, would last from 2017 to 2021.
Makinde, who noted that Kaduna and Niger would be used as pilot states for the project, added that it would be extended to other states of the country later.
The team leader said the project is geared toward agricultural transformation and strengthening the value chain to become more efficient and deliver more impact for the small holder farmers.
According to him, the project is also to make sure that Africa can feed itself.
He noted that the project, especially on cassava, would be achieved through Public Private Partnership (PPP).
“For AGRA, we are working to reach over 30 million small holder farmers across Africa to reduce poverty.
“We are looking toward working across 11 countries in Africa to bring agricultural transformation to support what the governments of the different countries are doing on making sure that Africa is able to feed itself.
“Agriculture can be a business. We have clear strategy on how to bring about agricultural transformation in Africa.
“AGRA is working with the government of different countries that will lead to agricultural transformation and strengthen agricultural value chain so that they become more efficient and deliver more impact for the small holder farmers.
“In Nigeria, we are focusing on three crops, we are looking at rice, maize and cassava.
“We have selected two states to roll out this intervention. We are working to cumulate investments by other partners,’’ he said.
AGRA was founded in 2006 to reduce poverty and hunger in Africa.
It works across the continent to help millions of smallholder farmers who make up 70 percent of Africa’s population to boost their farm productivity and incomes.
AGRA has supported more than 400 projects, including efforts to develop and deliver better seeds, increase farm yields, improve soil fertility, upgrade storage facilities, improve market information systems, strengthen farmers’ associations.
It aims to play a central role in transforming the agricultural sector in Africa and its food system in a way that is tailored to place a strong emphasis on safeguarding the environment.
Source: Nigerian Expression