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ActionAid urged 3 tiers of govt. to commit 10 percent budget in Agric sector

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ActionAid urged 3 tiers of govt. to commit 10 percent budget in Agric sector

By Ahmed AHMED

The Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, Mrs Ene Obi, has urged the three tiers of government to commit 10 percent of the budget to the Agricultural sector to improve food security and agricultural production in the country.

Obi made the call at the National Dialogue and Dissemination on Nigeria’s Performance at the 3rd Biennial Review Exercise on the Implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development (CAADP) on Wednesday in Abuja.

She stressed that for Nigeria to be on track in meeting the 2014 Malabo Declaration commitments, going forward,

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“We hope that the three tiers of government would commit 10% of their annual budget to the agriculture sector required to support at least 6% growth rate for the sector as postulated in the CAADP framework.

“Investments should focus on strategic areas of Extension Services, Access to Credit, Women in Agriculture, Youth in Agriculture, Appropriate Labor-Saving Technologies, Inputs, Post-Harvest Losses Reduction Supports (processing facilities,

“Storage facilities, training, market access, Climate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture (CRSA)/Agroecology, Research and Development, Monitoring and Evaluation, as well as Coordination”, he said.

The Country Director also called on governments at all levels to emphasize strengthening infrastructural development to boost agricultural production.

She however the stakeholders to provide enabling environment for the Small Scale Women Farmers Organization in Nigeria (SWOFON) to operate

“While the government is making efforts to improve the space for more Public-Private Partnerships arrangements in Nigeria’s agriculture sector, SWOFON access to such schemes across the country remains below 27%,” she said.

In his remark, The Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) Dr Ernest  Umakhihe said the federal government should give priority to rural infrastructure, research, land management and extension services.

Represented by Mr Oshadiya Olanpekun said FG is committed to Agricultural production that would tackle food security challenges in the country.

He urged stakeholders to support FG  identified gaps as well as bridging the gaps to enhance the Agricultural sector.

On her part, Mrs Constance Okeke, ActionAid International, Project Manager Scaling up Public investment in Agriculture stressed the need to address food security challenges in the country.

She pointed out the urgent need for stakeholders to be committed to pushing the gaps as priority areas to scale up public Investment in Agriculture budgets and programmes both at the national and state levels.

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