USADF, Kebbi governor announce $10m partnership to support local agribusiness
The President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of U.S. African Development Foundation (USADF) and the Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) announcing their intention to develop and expand local agricultural enterprises in the northern Nigerian state.
USADF and Kebbi State entered into a five-year, $10 million agreement, with each contributing $5 million over the five years to provide seed capital and technical assistance to local agribusinesses.
USADF-the U.S. Government’s African enterprise development agency- is uniquely positioned to leverage funds from African governments and directly invest these funds into community enterprises.
In a statement emailed to Apex News after the ceremony in Abuja by the US Embassy, 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 recognizes 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,” says C.D. Glin, President and CEO.
He said empowering local governments was essential for rural transformation noting that 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.
The Kebbi Governor has approved separate funds for better transportation infrastructure, as well as boosting agricultural activities in partnership with USADF.
In a statement by Governor Bagudu’s Chief Press Secretary, Alhaji Muazu Dakingari, “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).”
The 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.
The 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.