Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has expressed appreciation to the United States (U.S.) Government for the numerous intervention projects by USAID through the Feed the Future Nigeria Agribusiness Investment Activity.
Okowa who said he was happy that Delta was among the benefiting states of this development assistance, noted that the projects have enhanced the capacity of the state’s human resources for an effective contribution towards the development of its economy.
Represented by the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr Julius Egbedi, the governor gave the commendation in Asaba during a summit on Agribusiness Finance and Investment by the USAID Feed the Future Nigeria Agribusiness Investment Activity.
He said: “We appreciate the US Government for showing considerable magnanimity for various intervention projects.
“No doubt, these projects have the ability to achieve and enhance the capacity of our state’s human resources.”
The summit, which drew participants from related sectors including financial institutions, was also designed to strengthen the capacity of agribusiness to expand and scale up operations.
Addressing participants, Chief of Party and Managing Director of Feed the Future Nigeria Agribusiness Investment Activity, Dr Adam P Saffer, said the Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA) is the prime implementer of the agribusiness investment activity which is funded by the USAID.
According to him, the “Activity is pursuing a unique, robust business-centred strategy to increase the depth, breadth, dynamism and competitiveness of Nigeria’s agribusiness sector” in line with the US and Nigerian governments’ commitment to growing the non-oil-based economy.”
He said the Activity is designed to create an improved environment by working toward four inter-related objectives of mitigating obstructive policies to make it easier to do business in Nigeria’s agricultural sector; broadening access to finance; promoting investment opportunities in agriculture, and strengthening the capacity of agribusiness to expand and scale up operations.
“As an integral part of these efforts to create an improved enabling environment, the activity works to establish new linkages among a full range of public and private sector partners including agribusinesses, financial institutions, investment groups and business development service providers.
“As the project cultivates more robust business conditions, Nigeria’s rural entrepreneurs and MSMEs will gain improved access to the business and financial services they need to grow and to become more efficient, competitive and profitable – benefiting the entire Nigerian economy,” he said.