The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) in collaboration with Stakeholders and Development partners has held a meeting to dialogue on the Performance of the Agriculture sector.
The meeting was aimed to develop policies and programmes that will speed up the achievement of the Malabo commitments and National goals.
The workshop was held from Wednesday, January 13 to Thursday, January 14 in Abuja.
In a statement signed by the Deputy Director of Information, Eno Olotu on Thursday, the Permanent Secretary of FMARD, Mr Ernest Umakhihe, represented by the Director , Federal Department of Agriculture (FDA), Mrs Karima Babaginda, stated that “the meeting was key in identifying data gaps and possible sources for the next Biennial Review process as well as identify areas for preparation of policy brief for articulation of projects and programmes towards enhancing the process of attaining the Malabo commitments”.
He said the Ministry is at the verge of completing the articulation of another four year policy framework tagged National Agriculture Technology and Innovation Plan (NATIP 2021-2024) to serve as guide for the operation of agricultural projects and programmes in the country.
The Permanent Secretary reiterated President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment and passion to develop the agricultural sector in its drive to diversify the nation’s economy.
He further said that the Ministerial Priority Deliverables are to “ensure close collaboration with the states to build rural infrastructure, land clearing and development, scale- up production of livestock, fisheries and priority commodities, implement Rural and Livestock Transformation Plan, Train and Deploy 75,000 Agriculture Extension Workers, implement Livelihood Improvement and Family Enterprises, Establish Agri- Industrial Estates, Reposition and Restructure Agricultural Research Institutes and Colleges, Enhance National Food Reserve Stock and recapitalization of Bank of Agriculture for effective service delivery in the country”.
Umakhihe said that the ministry has taken a bold step in articulating an instrument tagged National Agricultural Data Management Information System (NADMIS) to facilitate data collection, analysis, harmonization and storage for overall planning, monitoring and evaluation on initiatives, programmes ad projects at global, continental, regional and national level.
In her presentation of the Bienniel Review (Continental and Regional lessons, from the region and other countries), Mrs Fatmata Seiwoh of ECOWAS, reviewed the performance of the African Union member countries at the continental and regional level and submitted that many of the countries were yet to be on track with the 7 point commitments under the CAADP Framework endorsed by the African Heads of States at the AU Summit in Equatorial Guinea in 2014.
The Malabo declarations expected to be achieved by 2025 include: Recommitment to the principles and Values of the CAADP process, commitment to enhancing Investment Finance in Agriculture and Ending Hunger in Africa in 2025.
Others are; halving poverty by the year 2025 through inclusive growth, boostingIntra-African Trade in Agricultural commodities and services,enhance resilience of livelihoods and commitment to mutual Accountability to Actions and Results .
Also, Chief Daniel Okafor, the National vice president of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) and National president of Potatoes Farmers Association of Nigeria (POFAN), who spoke to Daily Times urged the government to create a template where there will proper monitoring of loans given to farmers.
He advised that loans should not be given to anybody claiming to be a farmer and that the government should compile comprehensive data to monitor funding and activities of farmers.