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April 14, 2024
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Nigeria Secures $134 million From AfDB to Boost Local Food Production

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is providing $134 million to support Nigeria in cultivating rice, maize, cassava, and soybeans to boost food production.

The bank’s president, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, announced this on Saturday after visiting the Center for Dryland Agriculture (CDA) at Bayero University, Kano.

Established by Bayero University in 2012, the CDA is a World Bank-supported center that serves as a regional training hub for the West and Central African sub-regions. It was created to address development challenges faced by dryland areas.

Speaking to journalists, Dr. Adesina stated that the bank would support Nigeria in cultivating 300,000 hectares each of rice and maize, 150,000 hectares of cassava, and 50,000 hectares of soybeans during the 2024 planting season.

He further explained, “This March, the AfDB is supporting Nigeria to cultivate 118,000 hectares of heat-tolerant wheat varieties and another 150,000 hectares of maize.

“We have no choice but to adapt to climate change and adopt better water management practices, particularly in the cultivation of more resilient and tolerant dryland crops,” Dr. Adesina emphasized.

He noted that the AfDB would provide grants to the CDA and collaborate with it to develop its capacity for predicting weather patterns and gathering information to aid farmers in better planning.

“We will work with the center to turn it into a center of excellence in technology,” he added.

Dr. Adesina additionally stated that the bank would support young people in transforming their business ideas into reality through its $20,000 grants offered under the “Agri Pitch” and “Agri Hacking” programs.

He commended the Vice-Chancellor of Bayero University, Kano, Professor Sagir Adamu-Abbas, and the Director of the CDA, Professor Jibrin Mohammed-Jibrin, for their efforts in assisting farmers with access to technology in the face of climate change.

In his remarks, Professor Mohammed-Jibrin, Director of the CDA, highlighted the center’s focus on research and teaching in dryland agricultural development initiatives.

“The center is dedicated to improving livelihoods, resilience, and the sustainable use of natural resources in African drylands through training and demand-driven research,” he said.

Professor Mohammed-Jibrin added that the CDA had received several research grants from the World Bank and had so far enrolled approximately 1,153 doctoral and master’s degree students and trained farmers in agro-ecological practices.

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