FG revives river basin development, mobilises $500m for food security 

IN a bid to enhance food production and improve citizens’ livelihoods, the Nigerian government has announced plans to revitalize the country’s River Basin Development Authorities.

The Federal Government has also mobilised over half a billion dollars for the implementation of the innovative, profitable, equitable, and sustainable food systems transformation initiative.

Vice President Kashim Shettima made the disclosure during a panel discussion on ‘Innovative Financing for Food Systems Transformation’ at the ongoing UN Food Systems Summit +2 in Rome, Italy.

Shettima said the funds were mobilised “through domestic resources, multilateral development banks, international financial institutions, climate funds leading agro-businesses,” and would be used for “Innovation finance for food system transformation; development of Nigeria’s agro value chain and Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones programmes.”

He highlighted the commitment of President Bola Tinubu’s administration to repositioning Nigeria for a more prosperous future, adding that the government had taken significant steps to address pressing issues, including declaring a state of emergency on food security.

“He declared a state of emergency on food security and took it as a livelihood item within the National Security Council,” Shettima said.

Additionally, a commodity marketing board that will monitor and review food prices continuously to boost agricultural production and ensure food security for the nation’s growing population has been established.

Stressing the importance of investing in agriculture to increase yields Shettima stated: “The whole mantra is an increase in yield because the entrepreneurial capitalism is embedded in the very psyche of the average Nigerian.”

Somalia’s President Hassan Mohamud, also shared his country’s experience during the panel discussion.

He highlighted the strides Somalia has made in overcoming challenges, including insecurity posed by terrorists that previously hindered farmers from accessing their lands.

“We are emerging from that difficult situation both in the security issue by defeating Al-Shabab in many areas of the country,” said President Mohamud.

Addressing the unique challenges faced by the African continent, Kenya’s Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua stressed the need for aggressive funding approaches. Gachagua noted Africa grapples with armed conflicts, climate change, and terrorism, necessitating innovative solutions to ensure sufficient food production and surplus for export.

Prime Minister of Niger, Ouhoudou Mahamadou, also shared the challenges his country faces and experiences in mobilizing funds for food systems transformation.






     

     

    The ongoing UN Food Systems Summit +2 provides a platform for nations to collaborate and address critical issues in food production and security.

    The panel discussion emphasized the importance of innovative financing and strategic investments in agriculture to end hunger and drive sustainable growth and development across the African continent.

    The Government of Nigeria will be showcasing its Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) as a unique example of a successful partnership between producers, the public sector, and private operators during the summit.

    The VCDP, co-funded by the Nigerian government and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), has empowered vulnerable farmers and youth to engage in commercial partnerships with prominent food processing and marketing firms like OLAM, a world-leading agri-business company with a presence in over 60 countries and an annual revenue of about $39.8 billion.

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