On Thursday, June 20, 2019, United States Ambassador to Nigeria, W. Stuart Symington participated in the formal launch of an American-style feedlot in Lokoja, Kogi State. The first of its kind in Nigeria, the feedlot is a joint project by Jerry Cunningham of American West Africa Agro and JIL Farms and Equipment.
The feedlot will help promote economic growth in Nigeria while facilitating a peaceful solution to the resource-based competition that has plagued farmers and herders, especially in the Middle Belt.
Speaking at the event, Ambassador Symington said, “Today is about reminding Nigerians, like the words of your national anthem, one nation bound in freedom with peace and unity.” He added that “It is has been the wish of every person, since people came together, to create peace and prosperity. And then it’s been the dream for peace and prosperity to last forever with security. And there’s only one way for peace and security to last and that is if every woman and every man has a path forward for themselves.”
Jerry Cunningham and American West Africa Agro have been operating in the Nigerian agricultural sector for 20 years, promoting modern farming techniques throughout the country. This project epitomizes Jerry’s approach: see a problem, look for potential solutions among U.S. farming know-how, consult widely with all stakeholders, and move ahead working with local partners.
The U.S. government supports Nigeria’s efforts to reduce rural violence, especially through programs such as the National Livestock Transformation Plan geared to end resource-based competition.