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Ebonyi signs $40 million MOU for agric devp

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EBONYI State Government ,  Tuesday, signed a $40 million Memorandum of Understanding with the United States Agency for International Development for further Agricultural Development (USAID) in the state.

The state’s  Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice,, Cletus Ofoke, signed on behalf of the state government while Adam  Saffer signed for the USAID.

At the event held  at the Executive Council Chambers annex, Government House, Abakaliki, the USAID representative and Managing Director, Feed the Future Nigeria Agribusiness Investment, Adam Saffer, noted that Ebonyi State was chosen as one of the  states for the programme based on its enormous potentials in rice, maize and other focus value chain Agro products.

He commended  Governor Dave Umahi’s passion  towards agricultural development in the state, describing it  as a means of job creation as well as women and youth empowerment, assuring that the USAID was pleased to partner with him to achieve his desired goals in the sector.

Saffer said: “We are pleased and proud to be a partner, and we will be establishing our office in the state in the next few months.”

He  explained that the primary objectives of the Feed the Future project were improving the agribusiness enabling environment, expanding access to agribusiness finance and facilitating agribusiness investment.

Explaining further on terms of the MoU, the state coordinator of IFAD value-chain programme, Dr. Sunday Ituma, said the state’s contribution in terms of counterpart was to provide enabling environment for the implementation of the programme, accommodation, security, staff and logistics facilities to ensure its success while the funding would be undertaken by USAID.

Ituma explained: “The project portfolio in terms of funding is $300 million, but the project is being implemented in seven states in Nigeria. So the portion that Ebonyi State will likely get is about $40 million.

“The programme will tap from the existing structures in the state: the IFAD, FADAMA and others because we have farmers already profiled as well as women and youths which are the main targets of the programme, he said”

 

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