Federal Government, International Fund expedite action on poverty reduction, food security in North

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Abuja.

 

The Federal Government says it collaborating with International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and international donor agencies towards poverty reduction and food security in parts of North affected by insurgency.

Mr Ibrahim Tanimu, Director, Planning and Policy Coordination, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, disclosed this at the Federal Government-FAD/French Development Agency (AFD) Value Chain North (VCN) Technical Validation Workshop on Friday in Abuja.

VCN project design is targeted at eight states of Kebbi, Sokoto,Zamfara, Katsina, Jigawa, Yobe, Borno and Kano.

Its overall goal is to contribute sustainably to poverty reduction, enhanced nutrition and better resilience of rural population in the northern states of the country.

VCN development objective is to improve food and nutrition security and income of households in northern Nigeria through inclusive and sustainable value chain development as an enabler for rural transformation.

Tanimu, represented by Mrs Okuboere Mukak, Deputy Director, Planning and Policy Coordinator, FMAFS said VCD North project would boost modern farming method in order to increase production and productivity thereby enhancing market access and financial services.

Tanimu reaffirmed the ministry’s commitment to continue to support IFAD, AFD and development partners to design intervention that supported the fight towards poverty reduction and food security for the betterment of the people.

He decried that the North-East and North- West had been experiencing several attacks by insurgents since 2012 adding that the menace had caused serious hardship and food crises in the region.

“Our duty is to validate the project report of the VCN which has great potential component for agricultural development that will mobilise farmers to increase their food production.

“It will also bring hope to the displaced citizens in this areas that:are faced with such challenges in the food supply chain

“It will help farmers particularly smallholders who have been prevented by insurgency from accessing their farm lands and suffered abject poverty in the rural areas and help them with freedom and access to food, market facility and farm input delivery.’’

Tanimu said the project when implemented would not only contribute substantially to poverty and unemployment reduction but would greatly bring about sustainable farming activities in the value chain and provide newer business opportunity

According to him, the partnership  is timely considering government interest towards alleviating the sufferings of the people in the northern part through innovative agricultural development project to drive food production through input delivery to market.

“Therefore, the hope of Nigerian government with IFAD as a key development partner, is to transform the food systems pathways that will increasingly address the complex challenges facing populace in the zones in an equitable manner,’’ he said.

Dr Dede Ekoue, IFAD Country Director, Nigeria said the workshop’s objectives was to ensure common understanding of the major orientations of the VCN project design and also to lay the foundation for synergies with other partners during its future implementation.

VCN project current context is marked by urgent need to invest in scaling up food production and affordability, enhancing income of most vulnerable groups especially smallholder farmers, scaling up private sector investment in food system.

“Also boosting inclusive growth and increasing opportunities for youth employment.

“The project is in support of government’s efforts in implementing agri-food national policies and Presidential Declaration on Food Security Emergency,’’ she said.

Mr Babatunde Adebayo, Deputy Director, International Economic Relations Department, Federal Ministry of Finance, reaffirmed the ministry’s commitment to continue to support development partners IFAD, AFD, among others in poverty reduction and food security.

According to him, there is a synergy to design intervention that supports the fight towards poverty reduction and food security for the betterment of our people.

Mr Joel Aiki, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resource, Kebbi State, appreciated IFAD, AFD and Federal Government for the laudable project focusing on alleviating poverty among others in the North-East and North-West zones due to insurgency among others.

Aiki, who represented Shehu Muazu,  a commissioner in the ministry, said that in the phase of climate change, VCN would provide technicalities by way of resources, knowledge and skills.

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