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Govt, UNDP, GEF commit $58m to Nigeria’s food security

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Global Environmental Facility (GEF) in collaboration with the Federal Government have set aside $58 million to Integrated Approach Programme for Food Security (IAP-FS) project in Nigeria.

Chief Audu Ogbeh
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh

Mr Abdullahi Abubakar, the National Coordinator, National Programme Management Unit (NPMU), made this known during a one-day Food Commodities Stakeholders Summit to Advance Interstate Food Commodity Value Chain, on Thursday, May 16, 2019 in Abuja.

Abubakar said that the IAP-FS project, which is a continuation of other developmental programmes in agriculture, is aimed at building greater community resilience to a solid agricultural financing and marketing in Nigeria.

He said that IAP-FS project, which started in 2018, is being funded with $8 million from UNDP and GEF, with the counterpart fund of $50 million from both Federal Government and seven participating states.

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“This programme is implemented in 12 countries but not all are implemented by UNDP, some by IFAD, FAO and other United Nations agencies.

“For Nigeria, it is the UNDP that is supporting the programme which is being implemented by Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development with the Federal Ministry of Environment,’’ he said.

Abubakar said that, in the past, the northern Nigeria was proud of groundnut pyramid, adding that this could be revived with the vision of Federal Government trying to stop importation of rice completely.

“We have to make effort to see that we are producing rice and groundnut to the best of our ability and advice farmers on other crops.

“So, by 2022, we will start to look at what we have done and what are the impacts we have created.

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“I want to tell you as at now, based on the sensitisation we have done, people have adopted some of the acclaimed production methods brought by this project.

“We believe at the end of the season, we will see that the yield has increased, and people are happy as well,’’ he said.

Mr Oladipo Osibo, the Programme Manager, Environment Unit for UNDP, said that UNDP was assisting the Nigerian government to secure farms for the group.

Osibo said that UNDP’s role is to play an oversight function and to make sure that the farming in the country is done the right way.

“The programme is for five years, which targets Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, Benue, Nassarawa, Gombe and Adamawa states.

“We hope that at end of the programme, adequate and relevant decisions will be achieved, and the country can also move forwar,’’ he said.

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Hajia Salamatu Garba, the Executive Director, Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN), said that WOFAN was aimed at women development and was working to make agriculture demand-driven in terms of women and youths.

Garba said that the essence of the summit was to bring stakeholders together to think of youths and women as well as ensure affordable implementation for programmes.

“We want the policy that will make them get loan for the little things they are doing in order for them to integrated into the system,’’ she said.

The UNDP and GEF are partnering with Ministry of Agriculture to implement a long-term sustainable and resilient food production system in Nigeria and link farmers to a solid agricultural financing and marketing through the IAF-FS project.

By Kudirat Musa

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