Niger Partners USADF in Agric-Value Chain, Others
Niger State Government is to partner with United States African Development Foundation(USADF) in agricultural value-chain, off-grid energy and youth-led enterprises.
The agreement between Niger State Government and United States African Development Foundation was reached during high-level discussion at the headquarters of USADF in Washington, DC.
Governor Sani-Bello was at USADF Headquarters at the instance of the organization as a follow-up to discussion between Niger State
Government and United States African Development Foundation which began during Nigerian-American Chambers of Commerce/Embassy of the United States, Economic Affairs Section, Nigeria, SMEs Conference which held between 16th and 18th October 2018.
In his remarks, Governor Sani-Bello revealed that Niger State Government has taken steps in the last 3 years to take advantage of the huge potential of the states in agriculture through short, medium and long term strategy that are focused on creating value-addition and opening space for small farm holders in rural communities.
The Governor who commended USADF for its programme in Nigeria and other part of Africa, expressed delight with USADF for the interest shown toward Niger state and speed with which the process of investing in the state was being carried out.
“I am glad with speed with which USADF is willing to fast track the partnership with Niger State Government. I am also happy that the partnership will focus on areas that will address vulnerability in
disadvantaged communities. We are willing to give the required support to ensure that the partnership work.“
Governor Sani-Bello disclosed that as part of the administration’s proactive response to farmers/herders clash in the country, Nige state was developing grazing reserves for socio-economic and security
benefits for the state and Nigeria at large.
“Niger state is leveraging on its huge potential to develop grazing reserves which will cover the entire value-chain.”
Earlier in his opening remarks, Jack Leslie, Chairman, Board of Directors, USADF said that the organization partners with states in line with its vision of ‘creating pathways to prosperity for underserved communities in Africa. Leslie said the partnership with Niger state would be demand driven, demand-responsive and align with local needs, aimed at creating inclusiveness and sustaining peace and security.
The partnership is expected to focus on filling skilled deficit, some selected farm produce of comparative advantage (shea butter, soya beans, yam, sesame seeds, rice), livestock , creating solutions that
lead to youth employment and youth enterprises, empowering women through provision of funding all targeted at vulnerable groups in rural communities in the state. The relationship between Niger State
Government and USADF is also expected to fast track Niger State Accelerated Agriculture Development Scheme (AADS) through development of Farm Enterprise Franchises aimed at setting up Youth cluster
Integrated Farming in various part of the state. Also speaking, Chairman, Flour Mills of Nigeria, (FMN) John Coumantaros expressed his willingness as a private-sector organization to play its role in supporting the partnership between Niger State Government and USADF.
The Governor meet USADF team with Chief of Staff, Hon Mikhail, Al-amin Bmitosahi, Commissioner for Finance, Alhaji Zakari Abubakar, Commissioner for Works and Infrastructural Development overseeing
ministry for local government and chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Ibrahim Balarabe, Commissioner For Agriculture, Alhaji Haruna Dukku and Special Adviser, Special Duties, Alhaji Umar Alkali.