The Federal Government on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Sasakawa Africa Association (SAASG2000) to curb the current menace of post-harvest loss as well as address other concerns in the Nigerian agricultural sector.
Sabo Nanono, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), in a statement signed by Theodore Ogasiechi, Director of Information in the ministry, said that the collaboration with Sasakawa would focus on the transfer of appropriately tested and acceptable knowledgeable know-how and technological package on the selected agricultural commodity value chain.
“This collaboration would benefit commercially oriented smallholder farmers, particularly women and youths, while ultimately improving the country’s agricultural productivity and production, food security, and nutrition among others”.
The minister pledged the federal government’s support for Sasaakwa initiatives in Nigeria, which he said were in line with President Muhammad Buhari’s Next Level Agenda of achieving food security and economic growth in Nigeria.
Ichiro Kabasawa, Executive Director, NIPPON Foundation, said that the organisation would lead in influencing inclusive transformation of Agriculture in Africa.
“NIPPON Foundation is Japan’s largest private philanthropic organisation and major financing institution backing Sasakawa. The effort will help in empowering smallholder-farmers and sustaining increased productivity and income in response to market demand”.
Kabasawa speaking further said that Nigeria should increase its investments in nutrition to secure the health and well-being of mothers and children for better economic growth in the country.
“In December 2018, the programme promoted demand-driven and value chain-oriented curriculum in 26 institutions, including 24 universities and two agricultural colleges across nine African countries,” he said.
“In 2019, the organisation made a strategic shift that allowed it to make interventions more effective and efficient with better synergy and coordination.”