The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, on Thursday called on the U.S. Government to include Nigeria in the G-8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition.
He made the call in Abuja when Mr Michael Forman, the Deputy National Security Advisor to President Barak Obama on Economic Affairs, led a delegation to his office.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Obama had announced the new alliance before the 38th edition of G-8 Summit in Chicago, in May.
It aims to lift 50 million people out of hunger and poverty over the next 10 years building on the L’Aquila Food Security Initiative.
The G-8 is to work through the new alliance with African and other international partners to utilise private capital, new technologies and other innovations to increase sustainable agricultural productivity.
The L’Aquila initiative was one of the highpoints of the 2009 G-8 Summit held in Italy, which pledged to reverse the neglect of agricultural development with ``sustained and predictable'' funding.
Adesina, who noted that the support was crucial to the country’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA), explained that USAID had been supportive to the country's development in agriculture.
``The work of USAID in Nigeria has been a huge success especially in USAID markets. But I want USAID to focus more on cassava, rice and sorghum. ’’
The minister, who said that he had received request from 10 farmers in the U.S. to help grow rice in the country, restated Federal Government’s commitment to mechanise agriculture.
He assured the delegation that Nigeria would continue to play its role in the area of food security in the West Africa sub-region.
Responding, Forman said that the team was on a mission to further develop economic ties with Nigeria, adding that the team would soon meet with some other ministers to discuss how to develop trade and investment as well as economic opportunities.
``We will also be discussing with the USAID and other various agencies to see areas of assistance, ’’ he said.