Heifer, USA to Lift 10m Farmers Out of Povert

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By our Reporter

Quite significantly, a United States-based organisation, Heifer, is working on lifting no fewer than 10 million smallhold farmers out of poverty, globally.

In a relevant bid to reaffirm its commitment, Heifer’s new President and Chief Executive, Surita Sandosham, during a recent visit to Heifer International’s operations in Africa, expressed the organisation’s commitment to elevate 10 million smallholder farming households globally out of poverty and into economic self-reliance by 2030, in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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The CEO, Sandosham, has expectedly, visited Africa as the first stop on a global tour of the non-profit development organisation’s operations, which will also include visits to regional teams in Asia and the Americas.

Upon arrival, Sandosham met the Africa team members at the regional headquarters in Lagos, which gave her an opportunity to share her vision and her excitement for the work Heifer Africa is doing in the region.

And while visiting the country, she met with some of Heifer’s young agritech innovation partners and other key stakeholders in Nigeria, reaffirming Heifer’s commitment to work with youths and innovate to transform Africa’s food systems, as well as working alongside smallholder farmers, producers, cooperatives and others to ensure sustainable agricultural interventions.

Expressly addressing stakeholders, the CEO said: “Heifer believes that smallholder farmers hold the key to transforming Africa’s food insecurity. With food importation across Africa averaging over S43 billion yearly, we believe that access to finance, access to innovation, access to infrastructure and access to training, can increase food production and strengthen local food systems, reducing vulnerability to climate shocks and long-term dependency on imports.”

Heifer International Senior Vice President for Africa Programmes Adesuwa Ifedi, tritely speaking on the CEO’s visit to the region, said: “Having the CEO visit the region and meeting our partners and key stakeholders, was critical to restating our position that for Africa’s food systems to thrive, the combination of interventions and partnerships at all levels is needed. Our strategic goal as a region over the next eight years is to assist more than six million farmers to reach a sustainable living income by 2030, through strategic private and public sector partnerships to reach transformational scale. We remain unwavering in our mission and work to build resilience in agriculture because it remains a critical sector for Africa’s food security, workforce and economy to flourish.”

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She stressed that Nigeria gave her an opportunity to share her vision for the work Heifer Africa is doing in the region. While visiting the country, she met with some of Heifer’s young agritech innovation partners and other key stakeholders in Nigeria, reaffirming Heifer’s commitment to work with youth and innovate to transform Africa’s food systems, as well as working alongside smallholder farmers, producers, cooperatives and others to ensure sustainable agricultural interventions.

Talking about her Noble assignment, Sandosham added: “Heifer believes that smallholder farmers hold the key to transforming Africa’s food insecurity. With food importation across Africa averaging over N43 billion annually, we believe that access to finance, access to innovation, access to infrastructure and access to training, can increase food production and strengthen local food systems, reducing vulnerability to climate shocks and long-term dependency on imports”.

Thus, as part of her trip to the continent, the CEO also visited Heifer’s country operations in Rwanda. She met with the Rwandan minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources ((MINAGRI), Dr. Geraldine Mukeshimana, development partners, and other key stakeholders to discuss the progress of Heifer Rwanda partner projects and explore other potential collaborations in the country.

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