The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Markets 11 has declared that over two million rural Nigerian farmers have benefited from agricultural and capacity building assistance of the agency since 2005 as part of efforts to boost food security in the country.
The Director, External Relations USAID Markets 11, Mr. Godson Ononiwu, disclosed that in Benue and. Kwara states, USAID Markets 11 has been providing agricultural and capacity building to 70,139 aqua culture, rice and soya bean farmers since April 2012.
“The project’s rice farmers in these states have increased production from 2.58 metric tons per hectare to 4.55 metric tons and 3.9 metric tons per hectare”.
“Markets 11 is. USAID/Nigeria flagship project which aims to sustainably improve performance, income, nutrition and food security of poor Nigerian rural farmers or smallholders in an environmentally friendly manner”.
He stressed that the project works across five main values chains of aquaculture, cassava, cocoa, rice and sorghum, adding that the agency has assisted rice farmers’ cooperative societies in Kpada so as to boost its rice production from two to five tons per hectare.
The External Relations Director said USAID MARKET II interventions were in the areas of rice, sorghum, cocoa, soya bean, cassava, maize and aquaculture production.