The United States African Development Foundation (USADF) has entered a $10 million agreement with Kebbi State Government to provide seed capital and technical assistance to local agribusinesses in the state. The agreement, which will last for five years, is to develop and expand local agricultural enterprises in the northern Nigerian state.
Kebbi State and the USADF will be contributing $5 million each over the period.
Speaking at the signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) in Abuja on Thursday, the president of USADF, C.D Glin, said empowerment of local governments is essential for rural transformation.
He said his organisation recognises the challenges facing the African continent today and in the future.
Mr Glin said as part of its efforts to build agribusiness in Nigeria, USADF will provide $1million a year in seed capital funding as well as technical assistance through Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) for the five years.
The Governor of Kebbi State, Abubakar Bagudu, said the partnership will help the region achieve sustainable development.
“$10 million is big for Kebbi State because we are a very small state. This is very important to us,” Mr Bagudu said.
He urged other states to emulate the steps Kebbi has taken.
He said the state government has approved funds to improve transportation infrastructure, as well as to boost agricultural activities.
In his remarks, the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, said the partnership is to make Nigeria better.
He said they were working together because they share a belief in the future of Kebbi State.
Mr Symington said the MOU is about transforming the lives of people who will be working in the agriculture value chain.
“The partnership demonstrates a joint commitment to achieving sustainable development for the region and finding ways to increase Kebbi State market competitiveness in rice production, while also increasing incomes for farmers and their families.”
USADF has been active in Nigeria since 2001, investing a total of $9.5 million in 100 grassroots, growing enterprises and reaching nearly 500,000 people with improved livelihoods.