U.S. Ambassador promotes agricultural entrepreneurship

U.S. Ambassador W. Stuart Symington who is on a visit to Sokoto State has encouraged young Nigerians to become agricultural entrepreneurs.  He was speaking to students of Sokoto State University on the need to pursue careers in agribusiness noting that agriculture makes up 24% of Nigeria’s GDP.

Ambassador Symington said, “There are jobs to be created and money to be made in the agribusiness industry.  It will require technology, innovation, and financing,  but it will also need skilled operators; these students can be among the next generation of agribusiness industry leaders.”

He went on to note that Nigeria needs a more diversified economy.  He emphasized there were many entry points along the agribusiness value chain including “owning and operating a farm, running a processing plant, selling irrigation systems or seeds, transporting farm products, and exporting.”

The Ambassador discussed how students can take advantage of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) “smart grants,” which provide seed money to small entrepreneurs.

During his visit to Sokoto, Ambassador Symington met with His Excellency Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and His Eminence Sultan Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar.  He also met with interfaith religious leaders, visited a USAID program site, and toured the Waziri Junaidu History and Culture Bureau.