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UK to support Nigeria’s agric sector with £57.9 mln to make it more climate-resilient

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British Foreign Minister James Cleverly will set out a new package of support to make Nigeria’s agriculture sector more climate-resilient during a visit to the African country this week, his office said on Tuesday.

The support includes a  £55 million contract to help transform Nigeria’s rural economy and a  £2.9 million grant to support more than 4 million people in adopting and scaling up sustainable agricultural practices, the government said.

“Together we are focussing on the future putting in place green, clean measures, both in agriculture and infrastructure development, to create climate-resilient solutions for the global challenges we all face today and will increasingly face in the years to come,” Cleverly said in a statement.

A majority of people in Africa’s most populous nation live in rural areas and are at the sharp end of climate change, especially drought and flooding, causing havoc with their livelihoods.

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The new funding would boost productivity and resilience in the West African country’s agriculture sector to the impacts of climate change and help develop heat- and flood-tolerant crops and increase soil fertility, the British government added.

Cleverly – who is due to visit Nigeria’s commercial hub, Lagos, on Tuesday and its capital Abuja on Wednesday – will also announce a  £10 million facility to provide funding for climate-friendly infrastructure projects, the statement said.

More than 600 people were killed and at least a million displaced in Nigeria last year following the worst flooding in a decade.

The floods washed away crops, exacerbating a food crisis in a nation where millions have fallen into food poverty in the past three years, according to international aid groups.

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