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AU CAADP BR3: Nigeria to improve on Agric. Policies, Financing

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From: Friday Idachaba

As the Third Biennial Review of the African Union (AU) Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development (CAADP) comes up later this month, Nigeria and other African Countries are expected to improve on their implementation of their Malabo 2014 Declarations.

Arising from the the Maputo and Malabo summits of 2003 and 2014, a declaration was signed by the African Heads of States undertaking to implement a seven-point agenda including allocation of 10 per cent of their national annual budgets to the Agriculture sector.

The focus was to support at least, six per cent growth rate for the sector as encapsulated in the CAADP framework to improve food security, nutrition, and increase incomes in Africa’s largely farming-based economies with emphasis on the seven thematic areas.

The area include recommitment to Principles and Values of CAADP Process; Enhanced investment in Agriculture with 10 per cent spending target; Ending hunger by 2025; Halving poverty by 2025; Boosting inter African trade; Enhancing resilience of livelihoods and Mutual accountability to actions and results.

The first and second reviews however indicated that a lot of African Countries including Nigeria, were not on track in most of the thematic areas hence the need for enhanced awareness and sensitization of stakeholders and duty bearers.

It was against this backdrop that ActionAid Nigeria in collaboration with other Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) organised a two-day Pre-BR3 Launch Event titled, “Strengthening Accountability and Utilisation Biennial Preview Results – Count Down to BR3 Launch” in Abuja.

The pre-launch meeting was attended by Media professionals in the Agriculture sector, CSOs and Small-scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON) for sensitisation of stakeholders towards the launch at the AU Summit of African Heads of States in Addis-Ababa, this month.

Mrs Constance Okeke, International Project Manager for Scaling up Investments in Agriculture, ActionAid Nigeria, speaking on the approaching BR-3 launch described it as an accountability process instituted to help measure the progress of CAADP implementation in all the African countries.

“Every two years, a review is done to see how the programme is being implemented and countries data are submitted to the African economic regional economic communities who in turn submits to the African Union.

“They are analysed and prepared as form of report to Heads of States during their summit at the beginning of the year.

This is the 3rd Biennial Review. It started in 2017 with the first report released in 2018 summit and the second BR for 2019 was submitted at the African Heads of States summit in 2020.

“The idea of having this event is to join forces and resources to ensure that one of the primary key stakeholders in the agricultural development which is the Media is at the forefront of these issues.

“Because they will also help push information accurately, push accountability processes across board so that we all have the shared prosperity and improved livelihood that the Malabo and CAADP goal is set to achieve by 2025.

“We expect the media to go out there to tell the world and the continent, why it is important that we should focus on agricultural transformation.

“By putting more resources, by making sure we have policies and programs that will make sure that everybody is food secured and we all have the shared prosperity that we all look for”, she said.

On the achievements of the first and second Biennial Reviews, the ActionAid Project Manager said there had been a lot of achievement but there was still enough room for improvement.

“For example, African Heads of States agreed that they would commit 10 per cent of their annual national budgets to Agriculture but we know that most countries are not doing that.

“Nigeria is working towards achieving results and from what we saw, they have made a huge progress from the first BR to the second BR we are also hoping that the third BR will be better.

“We want more investments in agriculture, better policies, participatory processes, joint stakeholders review of programmes and policies so that we can be on the same page and everybody can move at the same pace. (Ends)

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Agriculture

Food Security: GAIN, AFAN ask states, LGs to give microgrants to smallhoder farmers

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***Small, Medium farm business enterprises to improve nutrition, food security

States and Local governmets have been charged to give support to the smallholder farmers, other agric related small and medium enterprises to improve nutrition and food security.
The National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Architect Kabiru Ibrahim and the country Director of Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Micheal Ojo, gave the charge recently at the 2023 Microgrant funding for nutritious Business Award Ceremony for 16 businesses in Abuja.
The grants were awarded at N3m each to 16 small businesses by Global Alliance for improved Nutrition (GAIN) in Benue, Nasarawa, Jaduna and Oyo States.
Ojo in his keynote address, said the gathering is to celebrate Small and Medium enterprises.
He said, the more the smallholders farmer in the country are empowered and encouraged with support that provude them access to expanding their production and connecting to markets, what they produce would not come to waste that is the big part of the solution to insecurity.

“We have been supporting many of them on this project that we call Strengthening Nutrition in Priority Staples over the past couple of years and the project is aiming to help those who are working in specific value chain, VitaminA maize, VitaminA cassava, Orange sweet potato to help them to produce more and to process what they are producing so that they can have these food Items on the market.
“The point of this is to help to improve the nutritional quality of our food and diversify at times and we all as Nigerians consume a lot of Cassava, a lot of Maize, we consume a lot of potato but we now have opportunity to actually move those foods away from analog varieties to more nutritious varieties.
“All of these new varieties have very high levels of Vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency is prevalent in our population and it is a very important micronutrient for health and wellbeing for children, for mothers but all of us.
“So this is a very important development. What we are doing with the microgrant that we are providing as support to these businesses is recognizing that many of them face the challenge of finding access to finance to grow the small and medium enterprises.
“We all know how difficult it is to access funding in Nigeria. This helps to take their businesses from whatever level they are to the next level and it can be used for improving their processing, it can be used for packaging or it can be used for assuring the quality of their products.
“It can be used for marketing of their products. It cand be used for so many things and we will work with the businesses to identify the best ways for them to use this micro grant fund.
“For each of the 16 businesses that we are awarding today, we are giving each one of them N3m. For a small business that is a substantial investment to support them to be able to invest in their businesses and to scale up.what they are doing.
“So that is why we are here and I am really pleased that we have been able to bring everybody together and I am thankful to our partners in the four States where we are working, in Kaduna, state, in Nassarawa State, Benue State and Oyo State. These guys are here, the partners are here. I am really pleased
“Currently we have funding to work in the four States but there is still a lot of work to do, we have just done over half way through the project. We are currently working and identifying more businesses in those four States.
“Yes we are looking for additional funding to work across other States but that will depend on new funding. It doesn’t even have to be through GAIN, we are showing the governments we are working with businesses that are in the State you know pouring in State resources doing what we have done to scale it up.
“We bring very small investment but the real investments is going to come from State and also from the private sector.
“So we are hoping that people will look at what we have done, they copy what we have done, they replicate it and expand it so that we can have increased and improved access to nutrition for the country.
“We have worked with at least 4000 food processors across the States. We are working with about 8000 farming households so that is the scale we were able to reach with the project.
“We are not able to solve insecurity unfortunately. Insecurity also stems from the lack of access to livelihood.
Architect Ibrahim, said, the effort to do Nutrition security is complementary to food security as a matter of fact.
“We have been championing the call for farmers to add value to what they produce so that they will get more. The work of GAIN is very apt, it is making our farmers more prosperous and making the food security question more seamlessly achieved.
“Food security actually means eating what you want at the time that you want and it is affordable to you and it is nutritiously balanced.
“Any effort to fortify the conventional crops to make them more valuable nutritiously is a welcome development and Nigeria will only be food secure if it is nutriciously secured because the children will not be stunted.
“I think it is a very good effort and I am glad that I came to witness here. This is what every farmer should strive to do, add value to what the produce because if you sell whatever you produced in its primary form you get nothing.
“It is value addition that took those countries we call the first world to where they sre today. We have the land, we have the manpower, we have everything here but since we don’t add value to whatever we produce, we are always at the losing end.
“For me, my experience spans back to two decades in this business because I don’t believe in donor funding because definitely you to part with that which is actually yours that supposed to be secret.
“You have to ask the motivation for the donation first. To that effect I am saying that we should look inward.
“The State and local Government that is where agriculture take place, they should be more into this than leaving it to the National.
“We should go back to the States and local government to produce and then we learn to add value from there. “Agric business is the thing that would move to food security in the sense that, when you produce something and you get money and the villagers see that you are prosperous they will take up what you so and that way Nigeria will become food sufficient and then we attain food security.
“This is what happens in the first world, agriculture business is the motivation that made 55,000 people in the Neitherlands to have income second only to the United States of America.
“The income in agriculture in the Netherlands is what make the country work and in the country everybody is busy because they are adding value to what they produce and they are doing agribusiness and they are going into everywhere in the world to sell what they have
“The governor’s have started buying into it, a number of them have visited the Minister of Agric lately and on Monday I was in Minna with the Presid2nt where they launched 1000 tractors, 3000 water pumps.
“That governor is doing well, I call him the most farmer friendly governor of this country. All other governors should model after him. Four governors were at the ocasion, two from the central.”

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Food Security: FG Inaugurates Agribusiness incubation centre in FUL

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By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, has inaugurated an Agribusiness Incubation Centre (ABIC) in Federal University Lokoja (FUL), in Kogi towards boosting food production and security in Nigeria.

Dr Ernest Umakhihe, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, who Inaugurated the centre on Saturday in Lokoja as part of the 6th and 7th Convocation ceremony of the Federal University Lokoja.

Umakhihe said that the Center was focused at enhancing production capacity, value addition, quality control and standards and opening access to local and international markets for the nation’s agricultural produce.

“The incubation centre is being established as a Special Centre of Excellence to support and promote food security in Nigeria, and to support youth and women empowerment as well as promote employment generation, wealth creation and poverty reduction.

“This will be through the development of viable agribusiness and entrepreneurship skills in different Agricultural Value Chains across the country.

“The focus of the centre include; enhancing production capacity, value addition, quality control and standards, and opening access to local and international markets for our agricultural produce.

“The project is aimed at facilitating and attracting investments into the agricultural sector, ensuring survival and sustainability of agri-based businesses and increasing domestic food production and exports, ” he said.

Umakhihe said that the centre would serve as practical knowledge hub where best practical skills, processes and inputs could be acquired on particular commodities.

According to him, the centres will also produce generation of young successor farmers and Agricultural entrepreneurs who can adopt new technologies and innovations across the segments of commodities enterprise/value chain of production, processing, storage and marketing.

“The centre is equipped to provide business basics through comprehensive training programmes along commodity Value chains and business start-ups including access to bank loans and other funds and guarantee programmes.

“The centre will support Market research, linkage to strategic partners, access to investors and the development of business plans and business networking etc”, he added.

The Permanent Secretary expressed satisfaction and appreciated the support and cooperation of the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi, the Academic and Management of FUL for the successful completion of the centre.

He also expressed the hope that the university would exploit the opportunities to be created by the Center and prove its support as a formidable institution in the concerted efforts of the government to grow the nation’s economy using the agricultural sector.

Responding, the FUL Vice Chancellor, Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi commended the Federal Government for setting up the centre in the University.

Akinwumi pledged to ensure that the institution would make good use of the opportunity offered to it to train the students in to becoming big time agriculturalists that would contribute to the nation’s food production and security.

The Nigerian Pilot reports that the Permanent Secretary also commissioned a six-kilometer road constructed by the Ministry from the university’s Zoo to Lokoja-Okene Road. (Ends)

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Go back to the farms, Agric minister/PROJECT 774 National cordinator tells Nigerians

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***Says Tinubu is in firm grip of solutions to Nigeri’s challenges

The Minister of State for Agriculture and food Security Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, has advised project 774 members to sensitized Nigerians on need to go back to the farm since land is God’s natural gift that remains an asset for employnent and productive venture
He spoke in Abuja on Thursday when the members of Project 774 for Tinubu/Shettima in the 2023 general election, which he coordinated nationally, paid him a courtesy call in his office.


Abdullahi who was senate Deputy Chief Whip and Chairman Board of Trustees, Project 774 for Tinubu/Shettima said,

“I want all members of this powerful network to take the message home that we just have to go back to the land. That is our God given natural asset.
“We are preparing very hard to make sure that the right things are done to stimulate agricultural production and increase productivity.


“Because it is one thing to go to farm, it is another thing to be productive. So we want production and productivity and we are working very hard on this.”
He reiterated the position that the President understands the problem of the country adding that it is why his 8 point agenda takes food security as topmost priority.

According to him the President’s agenda also touches on economic growth, job creation for which the Agricultural and food security sector play major roles.
“He talk about poverty eradication and also inclusivity, creating the enabling environment for every Nigerian to be able to participate in particular youths and women. I think we have our job cut out for us.”

“The priorities if the President are very clear, straight forward and we have already started digging down to get down to work. I want to appeal to Nigerians that the Duty of providing food is a collective responsibility.
“In this administration the emphasis on food security is a very powerful message so that with the political will, we have no doubt along with my colleague Abubakar Kiyari, we will work very hard to ensure we deliver on this mandate.
We will continue to engage and guide ourselves.
“Very soon we will be unveiling our road map in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda of the 8 points priorities of the President.
“When we chose 774 we knew all the action for our development are at the local government councils that is why we recognize the local level as the base.”
On the project 774 he said, ” “We promised to mobilise votes in 774 local governments of Nigeria for APC, presidential candidates, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Kashim Shettima.

“We are people you have led, when we started the journey you told us to learn the tricks of perseverance, patience, endurance and that there will be success and here we are.
“With your good leadership we were able to navigate the difficult terrain. First was the 25th February election for which we saw the emergence of our principal and his running mate
Today we came out tops winning the Presidency, many Governotorial election and highest number of parliamentarians.
“I think our effort was genuine and all of us showed commitment at various levels and I remember clearly that we promised Nigerians and ourselves that when victory is secured we intend to move the project to point 0.
“Which means we are going to keep our activities active in such a manner that those we went out to mobilize to give us this votes will be kept abreast of happenings, where they need to participate, they will be made to participate, information that needs to get to them will get to them through our network we will do that and we have agreed and whole heartedly that we are going to do that.
“I have told director of organization to re-validate all our data base in terms of the State level, local government level and after doing that we can see what we can do to mobilize ourselves back, to recalibrate so that over the next four years we can support the various authorities that have been put in place to help our President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to deliver on his renewed hope agenda. I want to assure you that the commitment is there.

“I want to join all of you in thanking President Bola Ahmad Tinubu for finding me worthy and making me a minister in his cabinet. We know the expectations are high and we intend to work very hard to justify the confidence reposed in us.

Convener Project 774 TINUBU SHETTIMA/ National Director of the Organization. Hon (Dr) Ahmed Adamu, FIICEP said they are greatful to Tinubu for appointing their leader as minister.
Other speakers at the visit included, Hon Arc Muhammad Muktar, member representing Gwiwa, Runi, Yankwashi Federal constituency, Jigawa state. Jigawa state Task Team leader
Hon Dr Yahya Abubakar FCT Task Team leader, Hon Engr Yunusa Abubakar Ahmed Director Interfaith.
Hon James Dalu, Executive Secretary, People living with Disability who was Director of Persons With Disability(PWD) was also at the event

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