The United States Department of Agriculture’s Food for Progress programme has entered into a cooperative agreement with Lutheran World Relief to strengthen the cocoa value chain in Nigeria. The project is worth approximately $22 million and will be implemented over the next five years.
According to a statement by the U.S. Mission Nigeria, Lutheran World Relief will carry out project activities in Abia, Cross River, Ekiti, Akwa Ibom, Ondo and Osun states – benefitting approximately 68,000 farmers.
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It said the project will target farmers in low productivity but highly promising areas, as well as farmers in high-density, high-productivity communities.
While noting that the primary objective of the Food for Progress project is to increase cocoa productivity by leveraging climate-smart agricultural measures, it said the project will support improved access to inputs, technical resources and capacity, post-harvest processing and export markets.
Counsellor for Agricultural Affairs, U.S. Mission Nigeria, 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.