The Senior Agricultural Economist, Office of Economic Growth and Environment, USAID Nigeria, Charles Iyangbe, says the organisation will prioritise business opportunities for rice, maize, soybean and cowpea.
Mr Iyangbe made this known in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
He said this would be done in partnership with the USAID Feed the Future Nigeria Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services Activity with the support from the Foundation for Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta (PIND).
It said it would enable smallholder farmers and Micro, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (MSMEs) to better understand the opportunities abound in value chain commodities through to enhance their incomes and improve livelihoods.
According to the statement, this will be aimed at building the capacity of MSMEs to deliver extension and advisory services to value chain stakeholders and strengthen linkages between agricultural research institutions.
“The activity collaborates with federal and state governments and leverages the power of Nigerian entrepreneurship to facilitate learning, replication and scale around alternative models of extension to measurably increase productivity.
“This will improve the incomes and nutritional status of two million smallholder producers in Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Kebbi and Niger states,’’ he said.
He said the activity works would focus on the information and service needs of the “average” farming household – the representative of majority of smallholders within the target value chains who produce the greater part of the production.
Mr Iyangbe said the workshop was attended by senior government officials from the federal and states government, USAID Nigeria, development partners.Others include key private sectors companies and investors, universities, research institutions, producer groups, lead farmers, aggregators, processors and others engaging in the commodity value chains in Nigeria.
SOURCE: PREMIUM TIMES