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USAID reiterates commitment to investing in Nigeria’s economic growth

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The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), on Thursday, reiterated its commitment to investing in Nigeria’s economic growth and agricbusiness sectors.

Sara Werth, USAID Nigeria’s Deputy Mission Director, stated this at the inauguration of ReelFruit factory located in Ile Ise Panu, Abeokuta.

Werth said that in the last 25 years, the United States government had been investing in Nigeria’s economic growth, particularly in the agricultural sector.

According to her, the partnership and investment was made possible through a multi sector strategy of engaging government, the private sector and communities to empower and strengthen local capacities.

Werth added that players in Nigeria’s private sector and United States government collaborated to support farmers, increase market access and launch new dried fruit processing facility in Abeokuta.

” Today, Nigerian-based Nature’s Bounty Health Products (ReelFruit) and the U.S. government celebrated the opening of a 800 metric tonne dried fruit processing facility in Ogun State.

“USAID began its partnership
with ReelFruit in 2021. Through the West Africa Trade and Investment Hub project (Trade Hub), USAID awarded ReelFruit a 500,000 dollars co-investment grant.

” The grant was to help restore the company’s supply chain which had been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This partnership supported 355 small holder farmer networks across eight states in Nigeria by providing training on good agronomic practices and directly purchasing their fresh fruits.

” The Trade Hub improves private sector competitiveness, with a focus on increasing the agricultural productivity and profitability of smallholder farmers in Nigeria and promoting West Africa’s regional and international trade,” she said.

Earlier, Mrs Affiong Williams, Chief Executive Officer, ReelFruit, expressed delight at the successful inauguration of the largest dried fruit factory in Nigeria.

Williams explained that the project served as a testament to her long-term unwavering belief in Nigeria’s Agricultural and manufacturing opportunity.

” We are going to process our range of dried fruits at scale to serve customers across the country, as well as sell ‘Made in Nigeria’ to
the rest of the world, creating jobs and positively impacting farmers, ” she said.

Dignitaries at the event included Ogun Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Adebola Sofela and his Agriculture counterpart, Mr Bolu Owootomo.

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