The Cocoa Value Chain in Nigeria is set for improvement. Counsellor for Agricultural Affairs, U.S. Mission Nigeria, Gerald Smith, announced that the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food for Progress programme has entered into a cooperative agreement with Lutheran World Relief for a project set to increase cocoa productivity by leveraging climate-smart agricultural measures.
The project, which is worth approximately US $22 million and will be implemented over the next five years. It will support improved access to inputs, technical resources, capacity, post-harvest processing, and export markets.
Food for Progress projects
Mr. Gerald Smith, explained that the project will employ an approach that enables farmers to not only produce more cocoa and preserve the land’s fertility and biodiversity, but also realize an important triple bottom line of people, profit, and the planet.
“Food for Progress programme is the cornerstone of United States Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service international capacity-building efforts with the principal objectives of improving agricultural productivity and expanding trade of agricultural products,” Smith said.
Over the years, Food for Progress projects have trained farmers in animal and plant health, improved farming methods, developed road and utility systems, established producer cooperatives, provided microcredit, and developed agricultural value chains.
Lutheran World Relief will carry out project activities in Abia, Cross River, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Ondo and Osun states benefiting approximately 68,000 farmers. In particular, the project will target farmers in low productivity but highly promising areas, as well as farmers in high-density, high-productivity communities.