Spring 2021

WACOT's rice mill is the largest plant in West Africa.

inherited, and the farm labor is the wife and children with no mechanization which leads to harvest losses.” Nigeria is the continent’s most populous country, and it’s growing rapidly. Taking steps to reduce inefficiencies and develop innova- tions in agriculture is urgent. The Trade Hub is dedicating $34 million to Nigeria’s food security and agriculture, with an emphasis not just on increasing production, but on elevating smallholder farmers’ livelihoods. Further, keeping food production local for staples like rice strengthens economies, reduces the reliance on imports and alleviates the environmental impact of the broken global food supply system. Maximizing impact Designed to bring financing and solutions to the most difficult and inaccessible markets, these complex and specifically structured co-investments through the Trade Hub and private companies are important drivers to export-competitiveness and inclusive growth. But forging the deals is only half the battle. “There is the sustainability piece in that if we make smart co-investments, these companies are going to continue providing jobs,” says USAID’s Moore. “Ultimately, what we are doing is about people, and it may be a large number of people, and one of those people might be a single momwho never before held a formal job... That’s exciting.” n

Habiba Suleiman (right) inspects samples in the mill’s lab.

Providing more storage space for produce is critical for the food system in Nigeria.

WACOT works with farmers to reduce waste during the harvest.

Photos by Rasheed Photography

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