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US gov’t, AGRA partner to increase food production in Africa

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The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have agreed to help smallholder farmers to increase food production in Africa.

In a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and AGRA President Dr. Namanga Ngongi in Washington, the two will offer assistance to farmers in Africa through coordinated research, exchanges, training and development activities.

“The MOU will be in effect for five years. AGRA and USDA will initially focus on increasing food production in African breadbasket regions – areas with high potential because of existing policies, infrastructure and growing conditions – such as Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Tanzania and Mozambique,” a press release issued by AGRA and copied to ghanabusinessnews.com on May 27, 2011 has said.

The two parties, in a joint effort will also promote seed development and soil enhancement, reduce crop loss, manage water resources, improve data collection, develop farmer training programs, create market information systems, and improve human capacity and food-related infrastructure in Africa, the release says.

Commenting on the partnership, Dr. Namanga Ngongi said “USDA has a wealth of expertise in many critical areas of agriculture development, and this agreement will enable us to share that knowledge and resources to benefit smallholder farmers across the entire food value chain in Africa.”

“And this partnership announced today between AGRA and USDA will enable us to deliver real results for hungry people around the world”, said Mr. Tom Vilsack.

 

By Ekow Quandzie

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