Foreign Secretary pledges to support Nigeria’s agricultural sector
James Cleverly, the UK’s Foreign Secretary, has pledged to support Nigeria’s agricultural sector in making it more resilient to climate change.
During a visit to Nigeria, the UK’s Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, James Cleverly, will pledge to support the country’s agricultural sector with a “package of support” to make it more resilient to climate change.
According to the UK Government, the funding it will be providing will help “more than four million people develop better farming practices and reduce harmful carbon emissions”.
Cleverly will be arriving in on Nigeria on 1 August as part of a three-country country visit to Africa, with Nigeria being the second leg of his visit.
Cleverly is set to announce a £10 million UK-backed facility in Nigeria in partnership with InfraCredit on 1 August 2023. This move will reportedly “unlock funding for sustainable and climate-friendly infrastructure development projects, such as providing renewable energy services to homes in urban areas, as well as green housing”, according to the Government.
Currently, more than two thirds of Nigeria’s population depend on agriculture for employment, according to the UK Government. It claims that the new funding “will help boost the Nigerian agricultural sector’s productivity and resilience to the impacts of climate change, transforming Nigerian critical agriculture and food systems for the benefit of people, climate and nature”.
What’s more, the Government has claimed that support from the UK “will help to develop heat and flood tolerant crops and increase soil fertility”, with it also stating that “new support will help grow the UK’s economy by alleviating some of the agricultural trade barriers to UK imports”.
Speaking on the partnership between Nigeria and the UK, Cleverly said: “Nigeria has a booming population and the largest economy in Africa – there is huge potential for an even closer partnership between UK and Nigerian businesses which will be of mutual benefit to both countries.
“Together we are focussing on the future, putting in place green, clean measures, both in agriculture and infrastructure development, to create climate-resilient solutions for the global challenges we all face today and will increasingly face in the years to come,” continued the Foreign Secretary.
The UK Government has said that there are over four million people facing food insecurity in Nigeria, with two million children under five being “are acutely malnourished in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States”. It explained that the funding will be used to “[help to] protect people, build their resilience to the ongoing food shortage crisis, and prevent famine”.