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Published On: Mon, Oct 22nd, 2018

Food Security: USADF invests $24m in Cooporative Societies in Nigeria

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United States African Development Foundation (USADF)

By Etuka Sunday

The United States African Development Foundation (USADF) said it has so far invested the sum of $24 million in grants to various Cooperative Societies in Nigeria as a way of boosting food security in the country, and the continent of Africa.
The Executive Director of Diamond Development Initiatives (DDI) and implementing partner for USADF projects, Mr Adamu Garba disclosed this at a DDI Conference and Mini Agriculture Fair in Abuja.
Mr Garba who briefed newsmen at the fair said: “USADF has invested over $24 million in these cooperatives societies over the years. They are still working in Nigeria and we look forward to getting more assistance from them.”
He said the purpose of the fair was to showcase the agricultural products from the cooperative societies all around Nigeria whose projects were funded by USADF and managed by DDI.
On ensuring food security, Garba said: “If we make concerted efforts in improving agriculture and backing our words with action production will increase.”
Garba also said over 450,000 people have benefited from the USADF projects in Africa from which 60 per cent are women.
He said, about 70 per cent of USADF programmes in Nigeria is developing the agriculture value chain to create impact in improving the livelihood of the rural people.
“Most importantly why I care about the work I do with USADF is that I have seen impact. I have seen the glow in the eyes of a 54year old woman who was signing a cheque for the first time.
“I know Danladi Sidi, a rice farmer in Kano state whose yield has tripled because he has adopted improved agronomic practices and followed the technical assistance that has been provided.
”I knew of Cordelia who produces palm oil but she has been able to quadrupled her production because of the assistance that we have provided. I also know of Comfort who is a widow and has five dependants and has no means of livelihood but now has two fish ponds from which she can support herself and her family. So there’s real impact from the work we do,” he noted.
In his remarks, at the fair, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr W. Stuart Symington lauded the interventions and the local farmers who are improving lives saying, “It is a great honour of my time of my life in Nigeria to hear of that transformation work that you are doing so much.”
President/CEO of USADF, Mr C.D. Glin, who lauded DDI, the rural entrepreneurs and farmers in Nigeria and other stakeholders in the development project, said the organisation has worked in key parts of Nigeria including Kano, Lagos and the Niger Delta.
Glin said, “Everything we do here is led by Nigerians. We have commitment to Agriculture. We strongly believe that one of the key drivers for Africa’s success, for Nigeria’s success will be in the agricultural sector.”
Chairman, Board of Directors of USADF, Jack Leslie said the United States was funding development projects in Africa because the success of Africa is important for his country.
He said: “I know we are seen as helping you to do the things that you do in the communities but your success is our success; your success is very important to the US.”
The fair showcased leather works from Zaria, Garri from Ikara in Kaduna state; improved local rice from Kebbi state; refined palm oil, fish feeds among others that that had value added to them including branding and packaging.

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