The Netherlands is investing over 26 million Euros – over 5.3 billion naira – in Nigeria’s agric business for thousands of Nigerians, the Dutch ambassador to Nigeria, Bert Ronhaar has said.
Mr Ronhaar, who made this known when the special advocate on financial inclusion for development to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Princess Maxima of Netherlands, paid a visit to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development last night, said six million Euro is being spent on value-added chain for cassava thereby creating employment for 100,000 farmers.
“We are supporting the cassava industry and the small holder cassava growers in Nigeria with a contribution of six million Euros developing the value-added chain of cassava which results in creating employment and income for approximately 100,000 Nigerian farmers,” he said.
“At the same time the Dutch government is supporting the coco growers in this country, the coco processing industry; it is also supporting the value-added chain in the cocoa industry. And the total amount invested in that programme which will last for over five years is approximately 20 million euros.
“It is not about money always. It is about the idea. It is about the drive, the experience with which we can help Nigeria.
“There is one other programme that will start in 2013. The programme is for nationwide public private partnership in agro-processing, in agriculture and horticulture. That will be implemented by the International Fertilizer Development Center, IFDC, well known to many of you, I know. And that will be a few million Euros. We really hope that they will bring expertise together of Dutch industry, but not only the Dutch, but African and many more local companies.”
Princess Maxima, who said she is in Nigeria for the launching of the National strategy for financial inclusion, said stakeholders including the insurance industry need to come in to make financial inclusion a reality and limit the risk the famers have to go through.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwumi Adesina, said financial inclusion is already being implemented through the government’s agric programme as over million farmers have received two bags of fertilizers each through the mobile phones.
CULLED FROM DAILYTRUST