AfDb Injects $134m Into Rice, Maize, Cassava, Soybean Production in Nigeria

March 4, 2024
Soybean Production in Nigeria

By Adedapo Adesanya

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is supporting Nigeria in the cultivation of rice, maize, cassava and soybean to boost food production with the provision of $134 million to achieve this.

The president of the multilateral lender, Mr Akinwunmi Adesina, said on Saturday after visiting the Centre for Dryland Agriculture (CDA) at Bayero University, Kano, that the bank would support Nigeria to cultivate 300,000 hectares each of rice and maize, 150,000 hectares of cassava and 50,000 hectares of soybeans during the 2024 planting season.

The CDA is a World Bank-supported centre established to serve as a regional training hub for the West and Central Africa sub-regions. The university’s centre was established in 2012.

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

“We live in an era of climate change and yet only three per cent of African agriculture is under irrigation. We have to make sure we help our farmers with information that is timely and appropriate.

“We have no alternative but to adapt to climate change; adopt better ways of using water, particularly in the cultivation of dry land crops that are more resilient and tolerant,’’ Mr Adesina said.

He added that AfDB would provide grants for the CDA and collaborate with it to become a centre used for the prediction of weather patterns and the gathering of information that would make farmers plan better.

“We will work with the centre to become one of the centres of excellence in technology.

“We will also support youths to develop their business ideas into reality with our $20,000 grant on Agri-Pitch and Agri-Hacking,’’ he said.

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

In his remarks, the Director of CDA, Professor Jibrin Mohammed-Jibrin, said the CDA is renowned for its research and teaching in development initiatives, focusing on dry land agriculture.

“The centre is dedicated to improving livelihoods, resilience and sustainable use of natural resources in African dry lands through training and demand-driven research,’’ he said.

He added that the CDA had received several World Bank grants for research and had so far enrolled about 1,153 Doctorate and Master’s degree students and trained farmers in agro-ecological practices.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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