The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Tuesday announced that it has awarded a $500,000 (N205 million) co-investment grant through its West Africa Trade & Investment Hub (Trade hub) to PYXERA Global to boost Nigeria’s agricultural systems and food security pursuit.
This was disclosed in a statement by Michael Clements, Trade hub’s chief of party.
“The USAID-funded West Africa Trade & Investment Hub has awarded a $500,000 co-investment grant to PYXERA Global, a not-for-profit with extensive experience designing training and capacity-building programs, to support the launch of its West Africa Agriculture Resilience Program (WAFARP),” the statement partly reads.
It said the programme will assist 10,000 farmers cultivating rice, maize, and soybean within Nigeria’s Kebbi, Cross River, and Benue States.
According to the statement, these states are focal areas for the Trade Hub in Nigeria, whose work aligns with and supports the mission of the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future initiative.
It said the smallholder farmers PYXERA Global is assisting have faced numerous challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic, including income loss from not producing crops as planned, and that their challenges have resulted in disrupted market channels and food supply chains.
“Nigeria’s agricultural sector has been particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, negatively impacting smallholder farmers and the communities of people who depend on their success in growing crops,” Mr Clements said.
He said; “We are excited about the potential of PYXERA Global’s West Africa Agriculture Resilience Program to bolster agricultural systems and expect to co-invest in other such programs as part of our COVID-19 rapid response initiative.”