BY ONOME AMUGE
The United States Soybean Export Council (USSEC) recently met with Nigerian soybean stakeholders, agribusiness experts, importers and executives of local soybean processing and milling companies to discuss agribusiness strategies aimed at improving soybean value chain considered an important element of food security in the world’s seventh most populous country.
The reception hosted in Lagos provided an opportunity for U.S. agribusiness experts and their Nigerian counterparts to explore possible areas of collaboration in training and capacity-building programmes to meet Nigeria’s increasing protein demand.
Speaking at the event, Gerald Smith, counsellor for agricultural affairs in the U.S. Mission to Nigeria, said Nigeria and the United States enjoy a long-standing relationship in the agricultural sector.
Smith explained that the Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Mission (FAS) is committed to enhancing collaboration to enable Nigeria’s agribusiness industry to meet the country’s vision for nutrition and food safety.
The counsellor added that the Nigeria Soy Excellence Centre (SEC), an initiative established by the U.S in partnership with Nigerian soybean stakeholders, supports Nigeria’s soybean value chain by enhancing the capacity of Nigerian enterprises in the soy-protein value chain.
“It is our aim to increase protein production and improve consumption of soybean in Nigeria both in human and animal through training of stakeholders.
“Our partnership to improve Nigeria’s soybean value chain is mutual and a win-win for the United States and Nigeria, especially as regards increase in production and ensuring that quality products are produced to meet demand,” Smith said.
Doug Winter, USSEC chairman, in his remarks, reiterated the council’s commitment to supporting local efforts to increase Nigerians’ access to healthy and nutritional food.
Also speaking, Ayo Oduntan, founder and director, Amo Byng Nigeria Limited, a poultry feeds and concentrate-producing company, commended USSEC’s partnership with local agribusiness experts and its commitment to supporting sustainable solutions to achieving food security in Nigeria.
“This meeting reinforces the fact that we need each other to grow. Through our partnership, we can build a Nigeria, where we can enable nutrition and food security for families and communities in Nigeria,” Oduntan added.
USSEC is a non-profit US trade group representing US soybean producers, processors, commodity shippers, merchandisers, allied agribusinesses, and agricultural organisations.
The group’s main goal is building preference, improving the value, and enabling market access for the use of the U.S. soy for human consumption, aquaculture, and livestock feed in 82 countries across the world.