By Paul Efiong
The United States African Development Foundation (USADF) has called on the government at all levels to map out workable strategies for farmers in order to increase food production and make hunger and poverty history in the country.
Speaking in an event to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) a non-governmental, non-profit organization in Abuja the Regional Director, Anglophone Africa USADF Washington DC, Tom Coogan said effective partnership with farmers as well as creation of conducive environment for rural farming to thrive which his organization stands for should be encouraged by individuals and government at all levels.
In an interview Time Nigeria shortly after the event, Coogan disclosed that USADF has spent over $20 million to empower farmers in Nigeria as part of its strategic measures to end abject poverty and hunger in Nigeria.
While commending the management and staff of DDI for their transparent fund management reiterated his organization’s readiness to end epileptic power supply in Nigeria by empowering Nigerians to invest in various off- grid energy sources which abound in the country.
The Diamond Development Initiative Executive Director Adamu A. Garba in his welcome remarks promised his organization readiness to explore more strategy in order to alleviate abject poverty in Nigeria especially those affecting local communities directly.
He emphasized that Nigeria as a country has all that should push poverty away especially as Nigeria has been endowed with material, human and natural resources.
DDI boss also used the opportunity to explain basic areas of their operations noting that his group 2002 has agricultural sector as its main focus as well as deal with off-grid energy adding that they have been fully operational in 27 states of the federation including the federal capital territory , Abuja.
As part of his organizational success story the Executive Director emphasized that they as non-profit establishment has during the last 15 years created massive income, increased fund for many Nigerians through several empowerment initiatives.
According to him”we always we work group of farmers and this have had multiplying effect on lives of our members as more food production and increased farming had been recorded under the period in view.
On how to benefit from USADF grant, the Executive Director urged prospective members and beneficiaries to apply online as there are several projects currently available for Nigerians and mostly for farmers in cluster groups.
Also in her welcome address, the Chairman Board of Trustee of DDI, Dr. Lydia Umar attributed the success story of the organization to purposeful leadership exhibited by the Executive Director down to the staff of the establishment.
Dr. Umar who disclosed that DDI initially had some challenges which includes retrieving loans from some beneficiaries further revealed they have to devise workable solution which m make such problems become history in the organization.