Today, March 10, marks the 70th anniversary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). According to Gerald H. Smith, Counselor for Agricultural Affairs at U.S. Mission Nigeria, “for 70 years, FAS has had an unwavering belief in linking U.S. agriculture to 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.”
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 a result of the strong partnership between FAS and multiple Nigerian agricultural stakeholders.
In addition, in 2022, FAS supported 16 Nigerian Fellows under the auspices of the Cochran Fellowship Program – focusing on dairy and beef cattle development, and consolidated shipping. Over the past 10 years, the Cochran Program 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, and government and non-government entities involved in agricultural trade and development. Through a variety of programs, the service helps developing countries strengthen sustainable agricultural practices by providing capacity-building opportunities.