As the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) marks its 70th year in Nigeria, Gerald H. Smith, Counselor for Agricultural Affairs at U.S. Mission Nigeria, has said that “for 70 years, FAS has had an unwavering belief in linking U.S. agriculture to Nigeria and the rest of the world. As we celebrate the 70th anniversary, I am reminded of the crucial role FAS has played in linking U.S.- Nigeria agricultural systems.” According to him in 2021, FAS Lagos collaborated with Ikun Dairy Farm in Ekiti State to import U.S.
Jersey cattle into Nigeria. Ikun Dairy Farm is a joint venture between Promasidor Nigeria Limited and Ekiti State Government. Smith explained that the successful cattle shipment was as a result of the strong partnership between FAS and multiple Nigerian agricultural stakeholders.
He also disclosed that in addition, in 2022, FAS supported 16 Nigerian Fellows under the auspices of the Cochran Fellowship Programme – focusing on dairy and beef cattle development, and consolidated shipping. Over the past 10 years, the Cochran Programme has provided short-term U.S.-based training opportunities for agricultural professionals across Nigeria. Based out of the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos, FAS is the overseas arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It offers a variety of services to American and Nigerian agribusiness companies, government and non-government entities involved in agricultural trade and development. Through a variety of programmes, the service helps developing countries strengthen sustainable agricultural practices by providing capacity building opportunities.