The Punch reports that the development is in a bid to ensure food sufficiency in Nigeria. Yam production was also included in the project.
Dr Audu Grema who is the senior programme officer, agriculture in the West African office of the foundation revealed this on Tuesday, September 13 in Abuja. He said Nigeria will soon be self-sufficient in rice production and listed some agricultural projects of the foundation to include CARI-Project (rice) which was aimed at improving rice production productivity, pest control, and variety enhancement.
Bill Gates is funding six agricultural commodities value chains with emphasis on rice production. Grema said this project was being implemented in Cross River, Niger, Kebbi, Jigawa, Kano, Plateau Edo and Ebonyi states.
He explained that the Cassava Value Addition Project was based in Abeokuta at the University of Agriculture.
“We also have a big yam project where we are working with private farms around Abuja, Kaduna, Niger, Ibadan, Abeokuta, Akure to enhance yam propagation technology through seeds.
“We have a huge portfolio of agricultural investments in Nigeria. We are work on maize, rice, yam, cassava and crop-livestock interface.
“We have four strategic cassava investments that we think are critical that we are funding across Nigeria.
“In agriculture, we do not approve projects except if it has a small holder connection.
“Anything we fund must have a connection with enhancing the status of small scale farmers.”
- The programme officer assured that the foundation would align its programmes with that of the Federal Government to enable the country achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)