Kebbi state government, the United States Africa Development Foundation (USADF) and the US Embassy officially launched the USADF/KBSG enterprise investment Program to support agricultural producers and enterprises in the state.
Recall that the USADF and the Kebbi State Government in 2018, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), a five-year, $10 million USD agreement, with Kebbi State and USADF each contributing $5 million over the five years to provide seed capital and technical assistance to local agribusinesses.
Special Adviser on Media to the Kebbi State Governor, Yahya Sarki in a statement on Wednesday, said the launch of the enterprise investment held at the Government House, Birnin Kebbi when Governor Abubakar Bagudu hosted a delegation from the USADF and the US Embassy on Monday.
He said 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 five year period, the USADF and the representatives of the US embassy in Nigeria, applauded the strides of the state and its Governor 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 statement read.
The USADF president Mr. CD Glin, in his speech, said that his organisation is committed to making Nigeria a strategic priority, and the partnership with Kebbi State is a critical component of that priority.
He also noted 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 and processing, groundnut, and rice to upscale outcomes for smallholder producers and cooperatives.
Mr. CD Glin further 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.
He also pointed out that many states in Nigeria wanted to be like Kebbi State in its economic diversification effort.
In his response the state Governor, Sen. Bagudu appreciated the partnership and expressed his Government’s Commitments to meet it’s financial obligations to the joint cooperation between the two parties.
The Kebbi State governor reiterated that though the scale of investment by the joint cooperation was10 million dollars, the value that would accrue would be in multiples of that amount.
Governor Bagudu said the partnership “will blossom into a program that will empower millions and help us create more incomes for our people.”
The governor challenged the beneficiaries and the implementors to exploit the great opportunities embedded in the program, to grow and upcsale 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.
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 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 Exicutice Director of Diamond Development Initiative (DDI), Mr. Adamu Garba and his partner Bello Haruna; and Mr. Matthews of US/Nigeria Chamber of Commerce, Kaduna.