Global development arm, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has announced a 5-year commitment that will see the organisation plow $15.7 million into helping high earners in the agric sectors of states such as Ebonyi, Delta, Kaduna, Benue, Niger and Cross River.
The investment is meant to remove hiccups to accessing funding experienced by Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the agriculture sector of Nigeria . Beneficiaries are agribusiness owners engaged in production of commodities such as cowpea, rice, soybean, maize and acquaculture.
Speaking in Ebonyi state recently, the chief of party and managing director at USAID, Adam Saffer, said the investment will help fast-track the push for a non-oil economy by building an empowered environment necessary for business to thrive.
According to Saffer, “In line with the U.S. and Nigerian governments’ commitment to growing the non-oil based economy, this activity is pursuing a unique, robust business-centred strategy to increase the depth, breadth, dynamism and competitiveness of Nigeria’s agribusiness sector”.
He added, “The activity is designed to create an improved environment by working toward four interrelated objectives: mitigate obstructive policies to make it easier to do business in Nigeria’s agricultural sector, broaden access to finance and promote investment opportunities in agriculture, and strengthen the capacity of agribusiness to expand and scale up operations.”
Agribusiness and tech are seen as growth areas for Nigeria economy in the 21st century. This is because the nation’s major source of revenue, crude oil, is being confronted by uncertainties. Some of these uncertainties are attached to the activities of climate activists, curbs on production and conflicts in critical regions; the advent of electric cars, and the move towards alternative form of, or clean, energy.