The Nigerian government has solicited partnership with the United States of America to improve food production and sufficiency in the West African country.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES, said the partnership through the United States Agency and International Development (USAID) is towards achieving food sufficiency and job creation.
The minister said this when the USAID delegation led by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, paid him a courtesy visit on Tuesday.
Mr Nanono noted that the need for a stronger partnership between the US and Nigeria in the agricultural sector for food sufficiency and food security.
‘’The first priority is to feed ourselves, produce more and create jobs which will, in turn, reduce the huge burden of unemployment’’, the statement said.
According to the statement, there is an on-going four-year strategic programme in the agricultural sector such as the introduction of mechanized farming to align the country with international best practices.
This, it stated, is expected to enhance self-reliance and boost food production in the country.
Mr Nanono stressed that the mechanization of the agricultural sector would encourage the use of technology for the benefit of the people.
He added that it would promote global best packaging of agricultural products and branding of the products towards ensuring global market penetration.
The minister also pointed out the need for capacity building which he said was very critical in the sector and also expressed confidence in the huge market and potentials available in the country.
In her remarks, Ms Leonard said West Africa is home to many of the world’s fastest-growing economies and a rapidly expanding middle –class consumer base.
‘’Co-investment in Nigeria will focus primarily on key value chains in the agricultural sector including maize, rice, cowpea, soybean and aquaculture,” the statement quoted the ambassador to have said.