The United Kingdom has announced a significant package of support to bolster Nigeria’s agriculture sector, making it more resilient to climate change. The Foreign Secretary made the announcement during his visit to Nigeria, part of a four-day African tour.
A Focus on Agriculture
Agriculture is a vital part of Nigeria’s economy, with over two-thirds of the population depending on it for employment. The new funding aims to enhance the sector’s productivity and resilience to climate change impacts. This transformation will benefit people, climate, and nature by developing heat and flood-tolerant crops and increasing soil fertility.
The UK’s support also aims to alleviate some agricultural trade barriers to UK imports, potentially growing the UK’s economy.
The Foreign Secretary announced several financial commitments during his visit:
- £10 Million Facility in Lagos: In partnership with finance company InfraCredit, this facility will unlock funding for sustainable and climate-friendly infrastructure development projects. These include providing renewable energy services to urban homes and green housing.
- £55 Million Propcom+ Contract: Part of the UK International Climate Finance program, this contract aims to support the transformation of Nigeria’s rural economy.
- £2.89 Million Grant: This grant will support over four million people across Nigeria in adopting and scaling up sustainable agricultural practices. The focus will be improving animal health, making crops more resilient, and introducing cleaner cooking practices. The goal is to increase productivity, capacity, and resilience among small-scale farmers and rural communities while reducing carbon emissions and protecting natural ecosystems.
Addressing Food Insecurity
Nigeria’s North-East region faces a severe food insecurity crisis, with over four million people at risk and two million children under five being acutely malnourished. The UK’s funding aims to protect these vulnerable communities, build resilience to the ongoing food shortage crisis, and prevent famine.
Strengthening Bilateral Relations
The Foreign Secretary’s visit also included meetings with Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and National Security Advisor Mallam Nuhu Ribadu. The discussions centered on the UK-Nigeria partnership and key common priorities, including increasing bilateral trade and investment, economic development, regional issues, and strengthened security cooperation.