Vice President Kashim Shettima asked for US support on Wednesday for the President Bola Tinubu administration’s food security program.
“We are seeking the assistance of the US government, whether it be technical or not, to address issues in our agriculture sector,” Shettima said to US Special Envoy for Global Food Security Cary Fowler during his visit.
This was revealed in a statement released on Wednesday under the heading “VP Shettima, US envoy meet over food security” by Stanley Nkwocha, Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Communications.
“Mechanization is essential, good quality seeds, fertilisation, improved agricultural practises, smart agriculture, these are the solutions we seek because the whole mantra is on increase in yield, it is about improving productivity,” he said, highlighting key areas where Nigeria would need immediate support. It extends beyond the area utilized for agricultural purposes.
“So, I’m surrounded by other stakeholders here who have all the data, information, and experience to make this partnership go smoothly and easily.”
He gave the US Special Envoy for Global Food Security confidence that the Tinubu administration is prepared to work with pertinent parties to increase agricultural productivity—not just in the nation but throughout Africa.
He said that Nigeria will maintain its current partnerships in the agriculture industry, adding that the nation will support the alliance.
“We will nurture it because we are facing challenges with food security more than ever,” he continued.To find creative ideas that will enable us to overcome the obstacles, we must think beyond the box.
“I think we can save humanity and advance humanity together with your help (political will is stronger than it has ever been).”
In response, Fowler revealed that the US government has started an agricultural program with other stakeholders, guaranteeing that Africa will be given priority.
“What we are trying to do here in the US is a partnership between the US, the AU, and the FAO,” he stated, referring to the initiative we called the “Vision for Adapted Crops and Soil.”
“To put it briefly, our goal in working with African nations is to support them in better managing their soil, ensuring sustainability and productivity (that is, the soil side).” This includes working with farmers at all levels of government.
Regarding crops, Fowler stated that the United States is “very concerned” about climate change and how it would affect Africa.
The Special Envoy emphasized, “so, this program that we have with the AU and FAO is focused on Africa.”
“We’ll look at indigenous African crops that have long suffered from massive underinvestment,” he said of the program.
“To provide long-term funding for the program, we have established a multi-donor trust fund at the IFAD, and USAID is also involved.” The program has received $100 million from the US government,” Fowler continued.
The ambassador did, however, stress that partners like Nigeria “need to work in a collaborative way.”
“To advance this, we require your cooperation and political backing. We need to institutionalize these initiatives, make them more long-term, and have a powerful African voice in this regard. He went on, “We want Africans to lead this effort.
Shettima is anticipated back in Nigeria this weekend. She first traveled to the United States after attending the Belt and Road Initiative in China.