Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, has solicited for stronger partnership and collaboration between the Ministry and the United States of America (USA), through the United States Agency and International Development (USAID), to achieve food sufficiency and job creation in Nigeria.
The Minister, disclosed this when the USAID delegation led by the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Amb. Mary Beth Leonard, paid him a courtesy visit in his office yesterday, in Abuja.
He said government hopes that increased food production, and jobs would in turn reduce the huge burden of unemployment in the country, adding that the ongoing four-year Strategic Programme on Mechanised Farming, would further align Nigeria with international best practices, enhance self-reliance, and boost food production in the country.
Nanono noted that the mechanization of the agricultural would encourage the use of technology for the benefit of the people, promote global best packaging of agricultural products and branding, towards ensuring global market penetration.
The Minister also stressed the need for capacity building, which he said was very critical to the sector, and also expressed confidence in the huge market potential available in Nigeria.
In her remarks, Ambassador Leonard said: “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.”