- US Partners Nigeria on ‘Feed the Future’ Initiative
The United States government via the US Agency for Internal Development (USAID), which works to sustainably reduce global poverty, malnutrition and hunger, has partnered with Nigeria government as one of the 12 countries on the ‘Feed the Future’ initiative targeted at improving food security in the country.
According to USAID, the plan would build on the success of Feed the Future’s $165 million investment in Nigeria since 2015, which left communities benefiting from previous livelihoods project with remarkable 22 per cent drop in child stunting and 53 per cent increase in exclusive breastfeeding among mothers.
With these, partner communities developed trust forged economic alliances and were able to allocate more resources while linking agribusiness to increased household incomes.
The initiative with the aim of addressing food security challenges in Nigeria and stimulate the nation’s economy, would be building on the government of Nigeria’s priority for food security and nutrition at both National and state levels, providing blueprint for inclusive and agriculture- led economic growth, strengthened resilience among people and a well-nourished population especially for women and children.
The US Charge d’ Affaires, Ms. Kathleen FitzGibbon, in her keynote address at the launch of the country plan and signing of declaration of the partnership recently, said the country plan, which focuses on Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Kebbi and Niger as well as Adamawa, Borno, Gombe and Yobe States, would connect farmers with suppliers, improve agricultural extension services, to stimulate market growth and present new opportunities for millions of household to improve their standard of living and quality of life.
Also speaking at the event, the Governor of Kebbi State, Abubakar Bagudu, said the program has been beneficial to Kebbi State in the areas of capacity building, exchange of knowledge and the interrogation of data.
The USAID staged an exhibition where 45 private sector vendors in agro processing agro technology, nutrition services and agricultural consulting services showcased their products which according to the Acting Deputy Mission Director USAID, Todd Sorenson, was a snapshots of the resources, assets and expertise available and ready to play critical role in developing a dynamic, diverse and market driven agricultural economy.