Expert Urge Government to Commit 10% of Annual Budget to Agriculture

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To achieve food sufficiency in Nigeria, an expert has advised the Nigerian Government to commit 10 per cent of its annual budget to agriculture, provide labour-saving technologies and reduce post-harvest losses.

Specifically, the Country Director of Actionaid Nigeria, Ene Obi, gave the advice during the National Dialogue and Dissemination on Nigeria’s Performance at the 3rd Biennial Review Exercise on the Implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development (CAADP), in Abuja.

Her words: For Nigeria to be on track in meeting the 2014 Malabo Declaration Commitments, going forward, we hope that the three tiers of government would commit 10% of their annual budget to the agriculture sector required to support at least 6% growth rate for the sector, as postulated in the CAADP framework.”

“Investments should focus on strategic areas of extension services, access to credit, women in agriculture, youth in agriculture, appropriate labour-saving technologies, inputs, post-harvest losses reduction supports (processing facilities, storage facilities, training, market access, etc.). Also, Climate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture (CRSA)/Agroecology, Research and Development, Monitoring and Evaluation, as well as Coordination.”

According to Obi, research conducted by the organization revealed that smallholder women farmers currently have only 18% access to processing facilities, 16.60% access to storage facilities, 13.50% access to off-takers/access to markets, 9.60% access to transportation for agricultural produce, and 42.30% access to training.

Furthermore, she said, on extension services, smallholder women farmers have access to only 5.26% farm demonstrations and 19.47% farmers field schools.

On agricultural credit, Obi added, women farmers have access to less than 23% of existing credit facilities, and only 4.77% access to agricultural insurance.

“On access to and control over land, about 59% of them have access to land, 29.77% have control, while only 11.23% are engaged in land governance discussions,” Obi disclosed.

On his part, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Ernest Umakhine, said the ministry has begun the process of strengthening evidence-based data for effective policy formulation and tracking of performance.

Represented by the Director of Agric Land and Climate Change Management Service, Oshatidiya Olanikun, he explained that the evidence-based data for effective policy formulation and tracking of performance was being strengthened with the concept of the National Agricultural Data Management Information System (NADMIS).

The development, Umakhine noted, would facilitate quality data collection, analysis, harmonization and storage for overall planning, monitoring, evaluating and reporting initiatives, programmes and projects at global, continental, regional and national levels.

Agro Nigeria

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