Monday, April 22, 2024

USAID Applauds FG for NATIP, Makes Case for Agriculture’s Untapped Potential

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has eulogized federal government for launching the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy (NATIP), to ensure food security, boost agribusiness and economic growth.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has eulogized federal government for launching the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy (NATIP), to ensure food security, boost agribusiness and economic growth.

The USAID director in Nigeria, Anne Patterson, represented by the Deputy Mission Director, Sara Werth, at the launch of NATIP in Abuja, stated that the new policy will help to fast-track agricultural development, adding that untapped potential in agriculture can help in achieving food security and economic growth in the country.

NATIP was recently launched by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Mahmmod Abubaka, to promote digital and climate-smart agriculture, quality agricultural input access, and data and information management.

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The Policy was premised on the ten thematic areas of stakeholders’ synergy and alignment, knowledge creation and transfer, rapid mechanization, extension service delivery, livestock development, crop value chain strengthening, fisheries and aquaculture

The USAID boss pointed out that the policy outlined opportunities to attract public and private investments into agriculture and agribusiness to modernize the industry and lead to a diversified economy that guarantees access to nutritious food, growth, and employment opportunities.

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Patterson noted that agriculture was strategically important to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy, explaining that in 2020, agriculture contributed over 25 percent of the gross domestic product.

According to the USAID representative, the policy came at a critical time as Nigeria and the world were facing the worst food security crisis, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine causing a sharp rise in food, fuel, and fertilizer prices, with indications of a growing global food crisis.

In his goodwill message, a research fellow of the International Food Policy Research Institute of Nigeria (IFPRI), Dr. Bedru Balana, said the policy would ensure the implementation of new technology and innovation in the agricultural sector and also drive the diversification agenda of the federal government.

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