EU inaugurates €1.3bn agriculture and renewable energy projects in Nigeria – The Whistler Newspaper

The European Union (EU) has inaugurated the “Team Europe Initiative (TEI) Nigeria Green Economy” project aimed at boosting sustainable and climate-smart agriculture and renewable energy for the country’s economic growth and diversification.

The Ambassador of the EU to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Mrs. Samuela Isopi, yesterday unveiled the Euro1.2 project during the 8th EU-Nigeria Business Forum in Lagos.

The event was tagged: “Nigeria and the New Economy”.

The other members of the TEI Green Economy Project are: Denmark, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

According to the Ambassador, the TEI Green Economy consists of 60 projects of different nature to be executed in the agriculture and energy sectors by 2027.

Isopi said the project aims to improve the competitive advantage of Nigeria’s agriculture and energy sectors, with a focus on access to clean and renewable energy as well as the creation of jobs, skills and capacity development.

She explained that the project was a collaborative effort with the EU and Member States, the private and public sectors and development finance institutions.

She pledged continued support to the Nigerian government in implementing its economic diversification policies and new partnerships with the private sector.

She says,

“In line with the EU 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 to enhance the development of the agricultural sector.

“Collectively, the actions will help Nigeria achieve the UN SDGs and set the country on a path to sustainable development.

“The initiative will also 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.”

She added that the TEI would forge new partnerships with member states interested in supporting Nigeria’s circular economy efforts.

Ms. Inga Stefanowicz, EU Team Leader for Green and Digital Economy in Nigeria, said the European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Development Finance Institutions would assist various value chain actors in the agriculture and energy sectors.

Stefanowicz said: “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 creating 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.

“The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and state institutions will be supported in the execution of its mandate, and in particular the development of agricultural education, integrating ICT and technical and vocational education and training.

She added that interventions on the ground would focus on creating positive ripple effects across value chains, including smallholder farmers, aggregators, processors, manufacturers, wholesalers, transporters and retailers.

She said interventions in the energy sector would include capacity building, policy dialogue and advisory services with the Ministry of Energy and its agencies, in developing an enabling policy environment, and adoption and implementation of measures.

“They will focus on the effective delivery of the ministry’s mandate, including the Paris Agreement commitment, the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) goals as well as developing new access business models. energy with the private sector”.

Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, hailed the initiative, adding that the agriculture sector has the greatest potential to diversify the economy and provide the broad-based growth needed for development as “ new engine of growth”.

Abubakar, who was represented by Dr Emmanuel Olaleye, Director of Agribusiness and Markets Development, said the agriculture sector was key to creating jobs, securing food supply, reduction in inflation and increased foreign exchange earnings.

He said the federal government will continue to prioritize activities in the agricultural sector through targeted policies to attract investment, in line with the drive for diversification and the realization of food security.

According to the Minister, some of the policies include National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy, National Agricultural Resilience Framework (NARF, 2014), Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP, 2016-2020) and National Agriculture Transformation Plan. livestock (NLTP, 2019-2025), among others.

He also stressed the need for farmers and investors to harness the opportunities of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) for the country to become Africa’s largest producer of crops like maize, rice and soybeans. .

“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 government enabled but private sector led, which will reduce human effort and improve productivity while removing drudgery from the farm. 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 said.

He called for support from the EU and EU countries to help build the capacity of Nigeria and its businesses to prepare proposals to access the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

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