By Ahamefula Ogbu
The President and CEO of United States African Development Foundation (USADF), and the Governor of Kebbi State have signed a $10 million Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop and expand local agricultural enterprises in the state.
The two parties entered into a five-year $10m agreement, each contributing $5 million over the five years to provide seed capital and technical assistance to local agribusinesses.
A statement from the United States Media hub said USADF, the U.S. Government’s African enterprise development agency, was uniquely positioned to leverage funds from African governments and directly invest them into community enterprises.
“USADF will provide $1 million a year in seed capital funding as well as technical assistance and oversight through their local partner, Diamond Development Initiative (DDI).
“USADF recognises the challenges facing the African continent today and in the future, and co-creates solutions with Nigerians to build stronger communities across the country in agribusiness.
“Empowering local governments is essential for rural transformation. The Kebbi State government’s agreement to match funds with USADF, to invest in local grassroots economic development, and to create jobs for vulnerable populations is essential to this vision,” C.D. Glin, President and CEO of USADF said. The Kebbi Governor has approved separate funds for better transportation infrastructure, as well as boosting agricultural activities in partnership with USADF.
Kebbi State government through the Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Muazu Dakingarin, said, “The Rural Access Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP) project is to cover rural access roads in the state while USADF is to engage rice farmers, milk processors and makers of groundnut cake known as (Kuli-Kuli).
This partnership demonstrates a joint commitment of the Governor of Kebbi State and the United States to achieving sustainable development for the region, to find ways to increase Kebbi State’s market competitiveness in rice production, while also increasing incomes for farmers and their families. This partnership will align with Kebbi State development priorities and provide funding for market-oriented rice, groundnut and dairy value chains in the region, to create jobs and increase incomes. USADF has been active in Nigeria since 2001, investing a total of $9.5 million in 100 grassroots and growing enterprises and reaching nearly 500,000 people with improved livelihoods.”