By Dike Onwuamaeze
The Solidaridad West Africa (Solidaridad) and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that would enhance the diversification of the Nigerian economy by improving the productivity in the country’s agricultural sector.
Solidaridad said the MoU would enable it to deploy its expertise and experience of more than 50 years toward improving the contribution of agriculture to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Under the MoU, Solidaridad would provide technical support to the FMARD in the development of the oil palm sector in line with its goal of supporting Nigeria’s capacity-building efforts to regain the countrys leading role in the global production of the commodity.
It would also help the FMARD in executing policies in the development of agriculture, among others.
Solidaridad’s Senior Climate Specialist, Africa and Country Technical Lead in Nigeria, Dr. Samuel Ogallah, expressed optimism that the MoU would contribute significantly to the development of Nigeria’s agricultural sector.
Ogallah said: “The MoU is a welcome development as it will propel the efforts of Solidaridad West Africa and the FMARD towards the achievement of food sufficiency and exports for the country.”
Solidaridad works on creating sustainable supply chains from the producer to the consumer and enables producers in developing countries to get a better price for better products while preserving the environment.
The organisation’s footprints in Nigeria spanned more than a decade and have largely been on improving oil palm, cocoa and horticulture.
Currently, Solidaridad is implementing the National Initiatives for Sustainable and Climate-Smart Oil Palm Smallholders (NISCOPS) in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Enugu, and Kogi States.
The NISCOPS is improving the production of oil palm through best management and sustainable land-use practices and climate-smart agriculture. The programme is aimed at improving the income and livelihoods of smallholder oil palm farmers in the project implementing states and the national food security at large.