Tuesday, 19 July 2016

U.S Launches $2 million Partnerships with two Local Agribusinesses to Boost Agriculture in Nigeria

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched two new partnerships with local agribusinesses: Babban Gona and Hello Tractor.

The partnerships highlights the U.S. government’s agricultural and private sector strategy and promotes the development of Nigeria’s agriculture sector.

The $2 million two-year partnership is expected to increased access to smart tractors, improved seeds, and profitable markets for over 45,000 smallholder farmers across seven states and the Federal Capital Territory.

During the ceremony, attended by the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbe at the U.S. Embassy, Deputy Chief of Mission Maria E. 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,” Brewer said.

Through these partnerships, USAID 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 in Nigeria.

About Babban Gona

The company addresses the challenge of smallholder farmers by forming strong cooperatives called Trust Groups, which enable maize, rice, and soybean farmers to gain access to new markets and sell at premium prices.  Babban Gona provides member farmers with services designed to optimize crop yields, production costs, and prices of agricultural outputs.  This business model helps to increase profitability of smallholder farmers and contributes to household food security and improved livelihoods.  Through the partnership with USAID, Babban Gona will create positive impact for 20,000 smallholder farmers.

About Hello Tractor

Recognizing the need among smallholder farmers for consistent and sustainable mechanization services, Hello Tractor designed a versatile Smart Tractor with eight attachments to serve their needs throughout the farm production cycle.  Each tractor is fitted with technologies, which enable Hello Tractor to pair farmers in need of services with a Smart Tractor owner nearby via text messaging.  The technology allows small landowners access to affordable tractor services to increase their productivity, while Smart Tractor owners are given the opportunity to earn additional income with their machine.  Through the partnership with USAID, 24,500 smallholder farmers will gain access to tractor services. The partnership expects to train 100 youth entrepreneurs on the business of owning and maintaining a fleet of Smart Tractors.  In addition, some 15 young technicians will benefit from trade skills to repair Smart Tractors.

About Feed the Future

Feed the Future was born out of the belief that global hunger is solvable.  As the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future is transforming lives toward a world where people no longer face the agony and injustice of extreme poverty, malnutrition, and hunger.  To achieve this goal, Feed the Future agencies work hand-in-hand with partner countries to develop their agriculture sectors and break the vicious cycle of poverty and hunger.

See Photos:
Agriculture Minister, Audu Ogbe Giving remarks
From Left – U.S. DCM Maria Brewer, Agriculture Minister Audu Ogbe and USAID Mission Director Michael Harvey
Jehiel Oliver, CEO of Hello Tractor, delivers remarks during the launch of USAID’s Nigeria Agricultural Partnerships
Michael Harvey, USAID Nigeria Mission Director, presents welcoming remarks during the launch of USAID’s Nigeria Agricultural Partnerships
U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Maria Brewer Giving remarks


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