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UNDP, GEF, FG commits $58m to Nigeria’s food security

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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

 

Agriculture

Expert warns of looming scarcity of honey in Nigeria

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Dr Yusuf Madaki, Director, Animal Health, Yobe Livestock Development Programme, has warned that unregulated use of agro-chemicals was threatenening the existence of bees and honey production in Nigeria.

Madaki gave the warning on Wednesday in Damaturu while speaking with the Nigeria News Agency .

He said that Nigeria’s ecosystem had suffered grossly from unregulated use of agro-chemicals on farms with health implications on humans, animals and plants.

“Unfortunately, in spite of earlier warnings by concerned persons, there has been little or no effort to stem the tide of the abuse in usage of the chemicals,” Madaki lamented.

The director said that there was gross reduction in honey production across the country as “the bees are facing extinction by the activities of farmers”.

“Bee farming and honey production is becoming unattractive and unprofitable in the country.

“I am afraid the scarcity of honey will continue to be on the increase and the product will always be adulterated,” Madaki said.

He advised government at all levels to take stringent measures against flagrant abuse of agro-chemicals by crop farmers.

Edited by Razak Owolabi and Ephraims Sheyin

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Agriculture

Climate change, most crucial development challenge – ministry of environment

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The Federal Ministry of Environment says unpredictable climate change is the most important development challenge currently and external climate finance is key to fast tracking Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Mrs Ibukun Odusote, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment said this on Wednesday in Abuja during a workshop on Promoting Climate Finance for Agriculture in West and Central Africa organised by the ECOWAS commission.

Odusote said Global Green House Gas (GHG) emissions was a threat to agricultural gains and there was an urgent need to reduce global emissions.

“Toward this path, countries have made resolute commitments to emission reduction targets through national legislation, policies and regulations, regional and sub-national actions combined with a new binding agreement,’’ she said.

Odusote said that with the adoption of the Paris Agreement, Nigeria pledged through its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to reduce its emission unconditionally by 20 per cent and conditionally up to 45 per cent by 2023.

She said that effective implementation of the Paris Agreement and its components would depend greatly on the combined efforts at international, regional, national, sub-national and private sectors.

“So far, Nigeria has deepened the understanding of relevant national stakeholders on the concept of a low carbon and climate resilient development and the green economy,’’ Odusote said.

She said another milestone Nigeria achieved in this regard was the development of sectoral action plans for the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributors.

The Permanent Secretary said agriculture was an indispensable indicator of growth in the economy of every country, not just for provision of food, but it connected other development sectors.

Dr Oluyede Ajayi, Lead Specialist, leading agriculture and climate change at the Technical Climate for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation, said the workshop was to promote climate finance to support agricultural resilience.

Ajayi said most countries depended on agriculture and food security, and small holder farmers were at the receiving end in climate change because they had very low adaptability.

“One way of addressing this is to promote adaptation and help farmers to be resilient, and a lot of money and resources have been channeled globally into climate financing in respect to climate change.

“Out of this, less than 10 per cent goes into agriculture and less than five per cent goes to small holder farmers,’’ he said.

Ajayi noted that a slight change in rainfall pattern had implications which might be able to wreck havoc on farm practices.

He said the essence of the meeting was to strategise on how to increase financial support for climate change activities in agriculture with regards to small holder agriculture in West and Central African countries.

“We have conducted studies in some countries and now we are synthesising to look at the key issues with options to promote reinvestment in climate actions to support small holder farmers,’’ Ajayi said.

The first day of workshop witnessed presentations from African countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Mali, Cameroun, Chad and representatives of other countries.

 

 

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Agriculture

I won’t tolerate indiscipline; Agric minister warns

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Nigeria News Agency reports that the minister is expected to tour the 40 agencies and parastatals under the ministry to familiarise himself with their activities.

CJM/KAY

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Agriculture

Biotechnology crops have contributed to global food security – Expert

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“Let’s get this technology out as fast as possible; let government create the enabling environment that will make those developing the project to quickly expedite action and get the products out to the farmers who need the technology,” Oikeh said.

IBK/GY

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Kaduna agric agency partners research institutes to offer new technologies to farmers

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The Kaduna State Agricultural Development Agency (KADA) is collaborating with research institutes to extend new technologies to farmers across the state.

Alhaji Ya’u Kasimu, Director Extension Services, KADA, made the disclosure in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Zaria, Kaduna State on Wednesday.

NAN reports that Kasimu spoke on the sideline of a meeting with specialists from four Agricultural Zonal Offices of the state.

The Director said: “All the Agricultural Development Agencies (ADPs) are collaborating with research institutes because, research institutes are a basket or a store of knowledge that come up with new technologies, because we cannot develop technologies ourselves.

“Therefore, we have to collaborate with the research institutes for us to get the technologies, which at the end we train our extension agents so that they can take such technologies to our farmers for agricultural improvement.”

Kasimu expressed concern over the inadequate ratio of extension agents in Kaduna State in particular and Nigeria as a whole.

“The Food Agricultural Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations says one extension agent is to oversee the activities of 800 farmers that means one extension agent to 800 farmers.

“When they saw the number of farmers are multiplying, they shift it to one extension agent to 1,000 farmers but today, Bureau of Statistics reports that in Nigeria, one extension agent is attending to 9,650 farmers.

“The ratio is so big, indicating that the number of extension agents is grossly inadequate and that is why we are using the media to see how we can extend the massage on the new improved technologies to farmers,” he noted.

According to him, the meeting was to raise awareness of the participants on the need to educate farmers to take farming as a business instead of tradition or hobby.

“We want the farmers to see how they can analyse their activities to know how much they have spent, what value are they getting from each value chain, be it maize, rice or whatever crop they are growing, we want to put them through.

“We want them to be keeping records of what they are producing, to understand the nature of rainfall, weather happening, so that they will not be victims of circumstances or victims of weather situations.

“We also want to see that women farmers are being carried along. We are trying to see how women farmers will be going together, know the happening just like their male counterparts,” he said.

Kasimu encouraged women to redouble efforts and participate more in farming business to gain the benefits therein.

He lauded their commitments in engaging in agricultural value-chain especially in the aspect of processing, livestock and cereal crops among others.

The Director appealed to farmers generally to learn and understand what agriculture is all about.

“Farmers must understand that there is science aspect of agriculture and art aspect of agriculture, you cannot just go for one aspect to achieve what you want to achieve.

“You have to combine the two to be able to get to where you want to go, by combining the two aspects, sky will be your limit,” he said.

Kasimu attributed the loan repayment challenges being encountered in CBN’s Ancho-Borrower programme to lack of involvement of extension agents in the scheme, assuring that extension agents knew the real farmers.

He said most of the loans were disbursed to political farmers instead of real farmers due to inability of those in-charge of the programme to identify actual farmers.

KLM/MZA

Edited by Maharazu Ahmed

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