FG urges States and LGs on Agricultural Investment Plan

agricThe Federal Government of Nigeria has urged states and local governments in the country to develop their own Agricultural Investment Plan(AIP) to complement the National Agricultural Investment Plan(NAIP) for the overall growth and development of the agricultural sector.

The Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs. Fatima Bamidele made this call in a keynote address at a Zonal Sensitization Workshop on the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme(CAADP) process in Kaduna.

Mrs. Bamidele who was represented by Mr. Nathaniel Longmut, Director Planning Research and Statistics in the Ministry said the workshop was convened to promote broad-based stakeholder participation at lower levels of government and to sensitize stakeholders especially programme implementers on the need to develop a collective multi-stakeholder mechanism for a holistic implementation of the CAADP process.

She told participants at the workshop that Nigeria through the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development and other key stakeholders surpassed the 6 percent growth rate in the agriculture sector and was close to 10 percent in terms of allocation of the national budget to the agricultural sector.

The Permanent Secretary also explained that in line with the September 2009 Addis Ababa Consensus on deepening the awareness about CAADP, among in-country partners, a Resolution to take the campaign to the grassroots was adopted at the last 38th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development.

The CAADP agenda in Nigeria just like in other countries on the continent, Mrs. Bamidele enthused, does not constitute an introduction of an externally-owned initiative but rather is a framework to build on on-going country efforts led by governments and other key stakeholders, while recognizing Africa-wide development aspirations. The value addition to existing frameworks according to her include building partnerships, dialogue, peer review, evidence-based policy-making, and mutual accountability at all levels as well as the exploitation of regional complementarities.

To achieve these value additions, the permanent secretary opined that all stakeholders at the local and national level must forge a synergy to synchronize their activities and investment plans to achieve the desired objectives of eliminating hunger, poverty and disease and boosting agricultural activities across the netire value chain for enhanced food security.

In her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Kaduna state Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs. Elizabeth Onazi told participants that the Government of Kaduna state has already expressed strong commitment in the implementation of the CAADP process through the institutionalization of the process in its agricultural programme and that the state government was ready to partner with the Federal Government and the Local government to achieve hundred percent success in CAADP implementation.

In his goodwill message, the USAID representative at the workshop, Mr. Howard Batson, USAID Senior Agriculture Specialist, noted that the robust partnership between Nigeria and the US on agricultural development is further enhanced by Nigeria’s strong commitment to meeting its national and international obligations especially in agriculture development where he expressed US readiness to continue rendering technical and financial support.

 Prince Ike Ubaka, Deputy National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria in his contribution paid glowing tributes to the states and the Federal government in the faithful implementation of the programme which he believe will in the long run serve the interest of the peasant farmers.

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