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Nigeria and the United States of America, USA, on Wednesday, disclosed moving to boost food production and job creation across various value chains in the agricultural sector.

The move was disclosed by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Muhammad Sabo Nanono, during courtesy visit of United States Agency for International Development, USAID, delegation led by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, at his office.

According to him stronger partnership and collaboration between the Ministry and USA through USAID, will no way boost food sufficiency, wealth creation, and employment generation.

He also revealed that the Ministry has a four-year strategic programme to add value to agricultural products including the introduction of mechanized farming in accordance with international best practices in food production, hence would encourage use of technology for the benefit of the people that would also add value to processing, packaging, and branding of farm produce, which would penetrate the international market.

He said: “The first priority is to feed ourselves, produce more and create jobs which will, in turn, reduce the huge burden of unemployment.

“We believe stronger partnership and collaboration between the Ministry and the United States of America through USAID will no way boost food sufficiency, wealth creation and employment generation for our teeming youth.

“It will interest you to know that the Ministry has a four-year strategic programme to add value to agricultural products including the introduction of mechanized farming in accordance with international best practices in food production, hence would encourage use of technology for the benefit of the people that would add value to processing, packaging, and branding of farm produce that would penetrate the international market.

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He also added that “The need for capacity building is very critical in the food self-sufficiency towards achieving food security.

We believe and are optimistic that the huge market and potentials available in the country remain paramount in this regard.”

Earlier speaking was the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, who said it was impressive to see West Africa being mentioned as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, which Nigeria is to be reckoned with.

“West Africa is home to many of the world’s fastest-growing economies and a rapidly expanding middle-class consumer base.

 “Co-investment in Nigeria will focus primarily on key value chains in the agricultural sector including maize, rice, cowpea, soybean, and aquaculture is very important to achieve food self-sufficiency, food security, job creation and wealth creation that would fight poverty”, Leonard said.

Also in attendance during the visit include Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development,  Mustapha Baba Shehuri, and Director, Project Coordinating Unit, Dr. Maimuna Habib.

source: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2020/01/agric-devt-nigeria-us-move-to-boost-food-production/

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