NewsFruit Firm Highlights U.S. Government Support for Nigeria’s Agricultural Value Chain

Fruit Firm Highlights U.S. Government Support for Nigeria’s Agricultural Value Chain

GTBCO FOOD DRINL

February 16, (THEWILL) – Nigerian-based Nature’s Bounty Health Products (ReelFruit) and the U.S. government, Thursday, celebrated the opening of an 800-metric ton dried fruit processing facility in Ogun State.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) began its partnership with ReelFruit in 2021. Through the West Africa Trade & Investment Hub project (Trade Hub), USAID awarded ReelFruit a $500,000 co-investment grant to help restore the company’s supply chain which had been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This partnership supported 355 smallholder farmer networks across eight states in Nigeria — Adamawa, Edo, Ekiti, Kaduna, Lagos, Niger, Ondo, and Oyo — by providing training on good agronomic practices and directly purchasing their fresh fruits. ReelFruit concurrently invested $2m sourced through a private equity fund to complete the dried fruit processing factory, scaling up its operations by almost 10-fold.

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The Trade Hub improves private sector competitiveness, with a focus on increasing the agricultural productivity and profitability of smallholder farmers in Nigeria and promoting West Africa’s regional and international trade.

USAID
A section of ReelFruit’s 800 metric ton dried fruit processing facility in Abeokuta, Ogun State, during the opening ceremony on Thursday.

“Spanning the last twenty-five years, the U.S. government has been investing in Nigeria’s economic growth, particularly the agriculture and agribusiness sectors,” Sara Werth, USAID Nigeria’s Deputy Mission Director said while delivering remarks on behalf of the U.S. government. “Our partnership and investment is made possible through a multisector strategy of engaging government, the private sector, and communities to empower and strengthen local capacities.”

Shortly after the dignitaries gathered to cut the ribbon for the official launch of the factory, ReelFruit CEO Affiong Williams said, “Today marks a momentous occasion in the history of our company. We are proud to have commissioned the largest dried fruit factory in Nigeria, which serves as a testament to my long-term unwavering belief in Nigeria’s Agricultural and manufacturing opportunity. We are going to process our range of dried fruits at scale, to serve customers across the country, as well as sell ‘Made in Nigeria’ to the rest of the world, creating hundreds of jobs, and positively impacting farmers.”

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