Saturday 21st September 2019
Saturday, 21st of September 2019
Home / Agric & Biotech / GEF-UNDP scheme to develop resilience to food security

GEF-UNDP scheme to develop resilience to food security

Fresh hopes have emerged for Nigeria’s floundering agricultural sector, thanks to a new initiative being promoted by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It is tagged the “GEF-UNDP Fostering Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in Nigeria.”

A smallholder female farmer

A smallholder female farmer

According to project officials, the scheme will contribute to the enhancement of long-term environmental sustainability and resilience of food production systems of the country, for the achievement of improved national food security by:

  • Strengthening the enabling institutional and policy environment,
  • Scaling up proven sustainable land and water management (SLWM) gender-responsive best practices for improved productivity, particularly among small-scale family agricultural producers in the face of climate change and climate variability impacts, and
  • Establishing a climate-resilient and result-oriented food security monitoring system.
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At a project initiation workshop held last week in Abuja, participants attempted to perfect and finalise the project elements, preparatory to a full commencement of the programme.

While accounting for about 24% of the nation’s GDP and employing roughly 70% of the labour force, agriculture is dominated by about 15 million smallholders (mostly women), who account for over 90% of the national food.

In a presentation titled “Fostering sustainability and food security in Nigeria,” Prof Emmanuel Oladipo of the University of Lagos listed the main divers of food security to include: rapidly growing population, changing and uncertain climate, shrinking farming workforce, poor infrastructure, flat crops yields over the past decades, and conflicts in the northern agro-ecological zones (AEZs) where most of the grains are produced.

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“These drivers put food security in grave danger, unless the decline in food production is offset by vast increase in country food production and food imports – despite infrastructure, production and market support services constraints,” submitted Prof Oladipo.

While identifying possible risks as political, strategic, operational and financial, he listed the project components as:

  1. Enhancing the institutional and policy environment for achieving improved food security
  2. Scaling up gender-sensitive sustainable land and water management (SLWM) initiatives and agrobiodiversity practices that provide local adaptation and global benefits and improve food production
  3. Developing an appropriate methodology for results-oriented monitoring and evaluation (M & E) for food security and establishing a climate and food security monitoring system in project areas
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In terms of national relevance, the project is said to be consistent with policies and strategies such as the Vision 20:2020; Economic Transformation Blueprint; Agricultural Transformation Agenda; National Policies on Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment; National Adaptation Strategy and Plan of Action on Climate Change in Nigeria (NASPA-CCN); and National Agricultural Resilience Framework (NARF).

Prof Oladipo’s words: “Specific project sites are yet to be determined, but focus will be on the Sudan-Sahelian AEZ, where agro-pastoral millet sorghum and cereal-root crop mixed production systems are practiced.”

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