USAID launches $300 million agribusiness investment in Nigeria

Nigerian entrepreneur Fajemi Gognaje, 35 years old, started a new business in 2016, selling agricultural inputs like seed and fertilizer. The Feed the Future project, implemented by Catholic Relief Services and local partners in Nigeria, was the catalyst by connecting him to private sector suppliers and manufacturers that give him credit. Background: Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in partnership with the Catholic Caritas Foundation of Nigeria (CCFN), Mercy Corps, the Federation for Muslim Women Associations of Nigeria (FOMWAN) and Making Cents International, is implementing the Feed the Future Nigeria Livelihoods Project. This is a 5-year program with support from USAID and cost share from CRS and partners. The Feed the Future Nigeria Livelihoods Project is based in rural communities in Northern Nigeria’s Sokoto and Kebbi states, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and is using a multi-sector approach that will help 42,000 very poor households (HHs) grow their agriculture production, incomes and improve nutrition. Photo by Michael Stulman/Catholic Relief Services
Nigerian entrepreneur Fajemi Gognaje, 35 years old, started a new business in 2016, selling agricultural inputs like seed and fertilizer. Photo by Michael Stulman/Catholic Relief Services

Under a new contract with Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), an international agricultural development organisation, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), recently launched the new Feed the Future Nigeria Agribusiness Investment Activity.

This activity aims to help Nigeria develop and strengthen a more business-enabling environment through the promotion of private-sector investment in agriculture. Through CNFA, USAID will work to improve the ease of doing business in the agricultural sector, broaden access to finance by mitigating the credit risks of agribusinesses, and promote investment opportunities for agribusinesses to expand and scale up operations.

In line with the commitment of the governments of the United States and Nigeria to broaden the economy, these efforts will increase the quality, quantity, market access and diversification of Nigeria’s agribusiness sector.

“This activity will pursue a unique, robust business-centred strategy to implement this Feed the Future initiative in Nigeria,” said Chief of Party Adam Saffer. “Under this approach, the activity will partner with domestic and multinational companies in order to more effectively bridge the gap between government and the private sector – and to distribute the economic benefits of the project more broadly across Nigeria’s agribusiness sector.”

The Agribusiness Investment Activity aims to collaborate with the Nigerians agribusiness sector to integrate and upgrade thousands of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and producer organizations as high-performing commercial actors in the rice, maize, soy, cowpea, and aquaculture value chains.

Through advocacy for streamlined regulations, more effective policies, improved production and processing practices, and significantly increased finance and investment flows, the activity will help Nigerian entrepreneurs increase the competitiveness and returns of both large and small agricultural enterprises in Nigeria.

Over the course of the five-year award, the Agribusiness Investment Activity aims to facilitate $200 million in new lending and $100 million in new investment across the five crops in the following seven designated Nigerian states: Kaduna, Niger, Kebbi, Benue, Delta, Ebonyi, and Cross River.

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