AfDB grants Nigeria $134million to cultivate rice, maize, others

 Sunday, March 3, 2024 The African Development Bank (AfDB) says it will provide Nigeria with $134 million in support for the cultivation of essential crops such as rice, maize, cassava, and soybeans, aiming to enhance food production.

The president of the bank, Akinwunmi Adesina, disclosed this when he visited the Centre for Dryland Agriculture (CDA) at Bayero University, Kano on Saturday.

The bank, according to him is set to back Nigeria in cultivating 300,000 hectares of both rice and maize, alongside 150,000 hectares of cassava and 50,000 hectares of soybeans for the planting season of 2024.

Addressing reporters, during the visit, Adesina said: “This March, the AfDB is supporting Nigeria to cultivate 118,000 hectares of heat-tolerant varieties of wheat and another 150,000 hectares of maize.

“We live in an era of climate change and yet only three per cent of African agriculture is under irrigation. We have to make sure we help our farmers with information that is timely and appropriate.”

“We have no alternative but to adapt to climate change; adopt better ways of using water, particularly in the cultivation of dry land crops that are more resilient and tolerant,” Adesina said.

Adesina further noted that the AfDB would offer grants to the CDA and work in collaboration with it to develop a centre focused on weather pattern predictions and information collection, enabling farmers to plant more effectively.

“We will work with the center to become one of the centers of excellence in technology.

“We will also support youths to develop their business ideas into reality with our 20,000-dollar grant on Agri Pitch and Agri Hacking,” he said

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