Thursday, June 11, 2009

Successful Agriculture Event with BOI

June 9-10: Over the last two days I chaired along with the Nigerian Bank of Industry T(BOI) Managing Director a joint U.S. Mission-BOI agricultural event where six USG agencies provided their expertise to help the Nigerian agriculture sector develop by providing information on access to financing, offering technical assistance on agro-processing, food labeling, and how to scale up exports using AGOA. Six of the 14 Nigerian bank that are partners on either EXIM or the Foreign Agricultural Service's (FAS) financing facilities also sponsored the practical two-day event where over 400 people attended. The financing and capital equipment segments were moderated by my staff assistant, Rob Anderson, while the interactive food labeling sessions were handled by a superb FAS consultant from Portland. The event received first class media coverage and I believe a good and productive time was had by all participants. We certainly moved U.S. policy forward over these last two days on agricultural development and AGOA.