To boost the adoption of sustainable, climate-smart agriculture and renewable energy in Nigeria and grow the country’s economy, the European Union (EU) has unveiled the “Team Europe Initiative (TEI) Nigeria Green Economy project. “, committing around 1.3 billion euros.
The project was inaugurated by the Ambassador of the EU to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Ms. Samuela Isopi, during the 8th EU-Nigeria Business Forum titled: “The Nigeria and the New Economy”, in Lagos.
According to Isopi, the initiative, which aims to improve the competitive advantage of Nigeria’s agriculture and energy sectors, consists of 60 projects to be completed by 2027.
She noted that the project objectives would be achieved through the collaborative efforts of EU Member States (Denmark, France, Germany and the Netherlands), private and public sectors and Development Finance Institutions (DFIs).
“In line with the EU’s Green Deal, the Green Economy Initiative will support the Nigerian government’s efforts to diversify the economy by combining support to improve access to renewable energy for productive use and stimulate the development of the sector. agriculture,” she said.
“Collectively, the actions will help Nigeria achieve the SDGs and set the country on a path to sustainable development. The initiative will offer support in areas of expertise and a strong European contribution such as climate-smart agriculture, technological and digital solutions, vocational training, job creation and entrepreneurship as well as access to sustainable energy.
In the meantime, she reiterated the EU’s commitment to partners with other interested Member States to support the growth of the Nigerian economy.
Speaking, the EU Team Leader, Green and Digital Economy in Nigeria, Ms. Inga Stefanowicz, said the European Investment Bank (EIB) and DFIs in Europe would assist various actors in the agriculture and energy sectors. from Nigeria.
“By combining EIB investment facilities with European Development Finance Institutions and EU Member States, the Flagship Initiative will create space for EU trade and investment while generating employment opportunities for young Nigerians.
“In agriculture, support will be provided to promote and increase climate-smart agricultural production and value addition in selected value chains to address food insecurity, increase agricultural exports, meet skills gaps and create jobs,” she said.
On his part, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, represented by the Director of Agribusiness and Market Development, Dr. Emmanuel Olaleye, welcomed the initiative, saying that it would create jobs, secure the country’s food supply, reduce inflation. and increase foreign exchange earnings.
Meanwhile, he said the federal government will continue to prioritize activities in the agricultural sector through targeted policies to attract investment, following its diversification goals and ensuring food security.
“The ministry has identified what needs to be done to achieve this by promoting the use of better seed variety with high yield, disease resistance and adaptive quality.
“We also seek to promote mechanized production through the green imperative which is enabled by government but led by the private sector, which will reduce human effort and improve productivity while removing drudgery from farming and strengthening value chain linkages.
“Others include increased investment in commodity exchanges; upstream/downstream aggregation and integration; supporting agricultural research and development; and reduce the risks associated with agriculture by reducing the risks to agricultural productivity,” he added.