By Shuaibu Zubair Tatu, Birnin Kebbi
President of the United States Africa Development Foundation (USADF), Mr C.D Glin, has said that the succesess recorded in the Anchor Borrowers Program in Kebbi state prompted USADF to collaborate with the state government to improve agricultural sector in the state.
Glin disclosed this yesterday at the official launch of the USADF, US Embassy and Kebbi State Government strategic partnership for $10 million Enterprise Investment Cooperation, aimed to support agricultural producers and enterprises in the state.
”The successes recorded by the state in its Anchor Borrowers Program which elicited its strong interest to partner with the state to broaden the coverage of support in the three agricultural value chains of diary production & processing, groundnut, and rice to upscale outcomes for smallholder producers and cooperatives,” he said.
The president stated that his organisation is committed to making Nigeria a strategic priority, and the partnership with Kebbi State is a critical component of that priority , saying that
many states in Nigeria wanted to be like Kebbi State in its economic diversification effort.
He said that, ”the USADF partnership with Kebbi is unique as it provided capital and array of technical support to farmers cooperative groups to fight poverty”. Furthermore, he expressed delight that kebbi is leading the way for agricultural revolution to lift the vulnerable groups out of poverty.
Earlier, the state Governor, Sen. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu appreciated the partnership and expressed his Government’s Commitments to meet it’s financial obligations to the joint cooperation between the two parties.
Bagudu reiterated that even though the scale of investment by the joint cooperation was10 million dollars, the value that would accrue would be in multiples of that amount. He assured that the partnership “will blossom into a program that will empower millions and help us create more incomes” for our people.
He challenged the beneficiaries and the implementors to exploit the great opportunities embedded in the program, to grow and upscale their capacities to export their final products to the high streets retailers of New York & California, under the AGOA pact, to replicate the local Lake rice experience with Lagos state.
Governor said ” So far, the first batch of 8 cooperative groups in the three value chains of Diary, Groundnuts and rice have been selected by the DDI/USADF and awarded grants for immediate disbursements to help grow their outcomes and capacities along modern business management and enterprise.
The Authority Daily Newspaper correspondent reports that USADF in partnership with the Kebbi State Government have a joint memorandum of understanding to promote enterprise development of producer cooperatives in the state. The partnership which begun in October, 2018, by a signed MOU between the two parties to support agricultural producers and enterprises in the state has now successfully taken off.
Further said that during the ceremony to kick start implementation of the program which will catalyse into the disbursement of the $10m joint counterpart funding program of $1m each per annum by each party for a 5 year period, the USADF and the representatives of the US embassy in Nigeria, have applauded the strides of the state and its Governor, Sen. Abubakar Bagudu for his giant steps in agricultural development which resonated nationally. The USADF and the US embassy representatives have singled out the positive outcomes of Governor Bagudu’s policies to impact the underserved members of the communities as the basis for their cooperation with Kebbi State.
The Authority Daily Newspaper correspondent reports that delegation comprised of the USADF President, Mr. CD Glin, and his partner Sam Williford, representatives of the US Embassy in Nigeria, Mr Scott Clayton and Mr Otaru; the Executive Director of Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), Mr. Adamu Garba and his partner Bello Haruna; and Mr. Matthews of US/Nigeria Chamber of Commerce, Kaduna.