By EricJames Ochigbo and Itohan Abara-Laserian
Some U.S. agencies and private firms have pledged support for a U.S.- Nigeria co-creation strategy to upscale financing, capacity development and technology transfer in agribusiness in Nigeria.
Dr Tony Bello, Chief Executive Officer of Shine Bridge Global, a U.S. based firm, made the plan known in a statement in Abuja on Sunday after an Agribusiness Finance Roundtable.
The roundtable was organised by AfricaGlobal Schaffer (AfGS) and Shine Bridge Global Inc, both U.S-based firms, in Washington DC on Saturday.
Bello said the groups had been working with departments and agencies of the government to bridge the gap in deal origination and promotion of partnerships between the U.S. and Nigerias agribusinesses.
Bello said the organisations pledged support for import and export trade promotions with sharp focus on Business-to-Business and Government-to-Agribusiness activities and transactions.
He said the firms were working to transform cassava and oil palm production and processing into global industrial food ingredients and new products for export and import trade between the two countries.
Bello said the private sector investors present at the roundtable included Dufil, Agritek, SaroAfrica and Afri Invest, Fayus Inc, Sacramento California, Pacific Ring West Africa Ltd, Abuja and Elephant Group Plc, Lagos Nigeria.
Others were H2AFoods with focus on food technology transfer, WQS/QIMS with focus on food safety and quality and Fayus with focus on cassava and oil palm investments in Edo.
Bello said Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo had earlier wooed private sector agribusiness investors and U.S. government departments and agencies at the roundtable to partner with the state.
Obaseki called for partnership with the Government of Edo in agriculture, food processing and export market development and also opened up on the on-going policy reforms and industrialisation programmes in the state.
According to Bello, the governor seeks to align and extend demands for cassava and oil palm value chains development to other parts of Southern Nigeria.
Bello quoted Obaseki as saying: What we need from the Agribusiness Finance Roundtable is to articulate the framework for collaboration and cooperation between the U.S. and Edo as a sub-national model for Africa.
I want this group to focus on food and agriculture, health, education and technology; we need to promote partnerships to attract private sector investments while balancing the political versus business interest of the state.
Obaseki lauded the programme organisers for the convening of private and public sector stakeholders in attracting investments to Edo. (NAN)