In Nigeria, the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, has launched two new partnerships with local agribusinesses Babban Gona and Hello Tractor. This $2 million, two-year partnership, will allow 45,000 smallholder farmers across seven states and the Federal Capital Territory, easier access to smart tractors that better meet their needs, improved seeds, and profitable food and agriculture markets. During the ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja in late July, which was attended by Nigerian Minister of Agriculture Audu Ogbeh, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Maria Brewer, described the partnership as a co-investment in public goods.
“Innovation and entrepreneurship hold the key to unlocking Nigeria's agriculture potential, and the U.S. government will continue to provide support in this direction,” said Ms. Brewer. Under the Feed the Future initiative, the U.S. government collaborates with a wide range of partners – from civil society groups to host-country governments to the private sector -- to support smallholder farmers in Nigeria and other countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Through these partnerships, Feed the Future addresses development and business challenges by increasing access to improved agricultural inputs and mechanization, better quality technical advisory services, and expanding market opportunities for smallholder farmers.
These partnerships capitalize on the untapped potential of youth in agriculture, and help build the capacity of young entrepreneurs to help grow their businesses, create secure jobs, and boost economic growth. Through the partnership with USAID, Babban Gona will help 20,000 smallholder farmers. And Feed the Future's partnership with Hello Tractor will enable 24,500 smallholder farmers to gain access to tractor services, as well as train 100 youth entrepreneurs on owning and maintaining a fleet of Smart Tractors. In its partnership with Nigeria, the United States helps stabilize Nigerian society with improved social services, supports transparent and accountable governance, promotes a more market-oriented economy, and enhances the country's capacity as a responsible regional and trade partner.