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

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 in Abuja.

Abubakar said that the IAP-FS project, which is a continuation of other developmental programme in agriculture was 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 was being funded with eight million dollars from UNDP and GEF, with the counterpart fund of 50 million dollars from both Federal Government and seven participating states.

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

“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 actually assisting Nigerian Government to secure farms for the group.

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

“The programme is for five years, which target 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.

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.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that 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.

Edited by Grace Yussuf