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Interview with Peggy Dulany: I Have a Hopeful Outlook On Nigeria’s Future

Synergos’ founder Peggy Dulany was in Nigeria in November, meeting with stakeholders in our work to transform agriculture in that country, and participating in events we helped organize to promote diversity - including more participation of women and youth - in agriculture.

During the visit, she sat down with Ololade Bamidele of Premium Times to talk about the Synergos approach, our work in Nigeria, and the tremendous prospects for positive change there.

I have always heard about Nigeria and I have heard about the energy, the cultural diversity; of course, I knew about the oil boom, and how that had a down side to it. I have also heard about the corruption. So, I try not to just look at one element, and what I have seen since we started working here is there are people in every sector and we find this in every country.

There are allies in every sector – in the government, in the private sector, in the civil society. So, we seek out those allies, and what I am seeing is that more and more people are recognising that the dependence on oil was a bubble, and it isn’t going to last. And that if Nigeria is growing at the rate that it is growing, there will have to be a real shift in agriculture so that the country can support itself and even become an exporter. So, I’m filled with hope with what I see with the possibilities; and seeing this young people at this meeting today, passionately convinced that agriculture has to be a future in their lives which is a key ingredient, because I heard here today that the average age of farmers are 65. There has to be a shift, so that young people really see that there are potentials, not only for higher income but also for exciting new innovations.