Prioritise investment in agriculture, US Urges Nigeria

Through collaborative efforts between public and private stakeholders, the vision of a thriving and sustainable agricultural sector is achievable.

In a concerted effort to address the prevailing food crisis and hunger plaguing the nation, the United States has issued a fervent call to action, urging the Federal Government of Nigeria to prioritize investments in agriculture. 

David Greene, the US Charge d’Affaires in Nigeria, emphasized the pivotal role of harnessing the country's abundant agricultural potential as a cornerstone strategy to fortify food security and expedite Nigeria’s socio-economic advancement, thereby facilitating the generation of employment opportunities.

Greene's remarks, delivered during a visit by the US Embassy to the expansive 15,000 hectares Agbeyewa Farms in Ipao Ekiti, Ikole Council area of Ekiti State, underscored the imperative for Nigeria to capitalize on its vast arable lands, fertile soil, and favorable climatic conditions to not only cater to domestic food needs but also to capitalize on export opportunities.

Encouraging both federal and state governments to emulate the success of Agbeyewa Farms, Greene highlighted the transformative potential of large-scale agricultural ventures in mitigating food security challenges and curbing post-harvest losses. 

He emphasized, "With investments and leadership like this, I believe the livelihoods of numerous Nigerians can be positively transformed."

Acknowledging the untapped potential within Nigeria's agricultural sector, Greene alluded to past and potential future contributions from the United States, citing investments in projects such as Ikun Diary Farms and cocoa production in Ekiti. 

He also referenced USAID's commitment to supporting Nigerian producers through collaboration with international donors, including the World Bank, to foster economic innovation and ensure shared prosperity.

John Olajide, Chairman of Cavista Holdings, elucidated on the multimillion naira investment in agribusiness, emphasizing its overarching goals of ensuring food security, enhancing nutrition, stimulating job creation, and fostering community development. 

Olajide outlined the farm's focus on crops such as cassava, maize, and yam, noting plans to launch the cassava revolution project in partnership with the Ekiti State Government to meet the growing demand for cassava chips in the export market and significantly reduce post-harvest losses.

Highlighting the pivotal role of Agbeyewa Farm in value creation and livelihood transformation, Olajide stressed the importance of empowering local farmers through initiatives aimed at improving yields and facilitating access to markets. 

He said, "Our aim is to eliminate post-harvest losses, thereby enabling Ekiti farmers to derive wealth from agriculture." Through collaborative efforts between public and private stakeholders, the vision of a thriving and sustainable agricultural sector capable of addressing food insecurity and fostering economic prosperity is within reach.

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