By Blessing Bature-Akpakpan |
Solidaridad West Africa has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) to improve agricultural productivity and ensure Nigeria’s self-sufficiency in agriculture and divestment of the economy from dependency on crude oil.
Signing the MoU on behalf of Solidaridad West Africa, Dr Samuel Ogallah, Solidaridad Senior Climate Specialist, Africa and Country Technical Lead in Nigeria expressed optimism that the collaboration between the two parties will contribute significantly to the agricultural development of Nigeria.
The Programme Officer – Communication, Outreach and Networking, Pita Ochai said in a statement With this, the two parties will collaborate based on mutual goals, interests, competency, expertise, and resources in the agricultural sector.
He said “The collaboration aims to improve the productivity of the agricultural sector and ensure that it contributes significantly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country that Solidaridad has immense expertise in agriculture, guided by over 50 years of experience working across various supply chains. Nigeria will benefit from Solidaridad’s expertise in her effort to transform the agricultural sector under this MoU.
According to him,, “The organization’s footprints in Nigeria spans more than a decade and have largely been on improving oil palm, cocoa, horticulture. Presently, Solidaridad is implementing the National Initiatives for Sustainable and Climate-Smart Oil Palm Smallholders (NISCOPS) in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Enugu, and Kogi states, while IDH, its partner, is implementing NISCOPS in Edo and Ondo state. Additionally, Solidaridad implements the horticultural programme – the Sustainable Development Goal Project 1 (SDGP1), dubbed “Transforming Nigeria’s Vegetable Markets.” This programme is being implemented in the Kano and Kaduna states. The two programmes are funded by the Netherlands government”.
“Under the Memorandum, Solidaridad will provide technical support to FMARD in the development of the oil palm sector. This will align with Solidaridad’s aim to support Nigeria’s capacity-building efforts to regain her leading role in the global production of the commodity”.
“As a data-driven organization, Solidaridad has successfully built a rich database of farmers across the country, which will be of help to FMARD in executing its policies in the development of agriculture, among others.”
“The MoU is a welcome development as it will propel the efforts of Solidaridad West Africa and FMARD towards the achievement of food sufficiency and exports for the country,” he said.