The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Federal Government on Thursday signed an agreement to implement the FAO Nigeria Country Programming Framework (CPF) worth $99.5 million.
The CPF is a five year agricultural project whose funds are drawn from the federal, state, local governments and international donors.
The last CPF in Nigeria started in 2018 and terminated in 2022.
The FAO Representative in Nigeria and ECOWAS, Fred Kafeero, during the agreement signing, said the project was a medium term priority area that focuses on FAO work for five years.
He said following the expiration of the 2018 to 2022 CPF, FAO in Nigeria commenced the process of consultation with relevant stakeholders at federal and selected state levels.
“The CPF is aligned with the national development policies and programmes in this country, it is aligned with our offer and support as the UN in Nigeria.
“It is also aligned with our FAO global strategic framework that emphasises the transformation of agri-food systems in countries.
“We are focusing on four pillars which we call the strategic pillars and they are best on the FAO global strategy.
“This we realise what is called the four Betters; Better production, Better nutrition, Better environment, and Better life”, he said.
The Assistant FAO Representative to Nigeria, Programme, Abubakar Suleiman said the project has four pillars, Sustainable and inclusive agri-food systems for improved productivity.
Suleiman said this would increasing resilience of food and agriculture-based livelihood systems, Healthy and nutritious diets, and Sustainable natural resource and climate management.
He said the project aims to strengthen capacities for value chain analysis, and upgrading of priority commodity value chains.
The programme officer said this would also boost the capacities for increased productivity in livestock, fisheries, and selected crop and forest value chains; strong capacities for digital agriculture solutions for increased market opportunities and productivity.
He said a total of $99,521,000 would be required to implement the project, and $16, 352, 00, had already been made available while the remaining $83,159,000 would be addressed through mobilisation.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar said CPF was coming at the time farmers desire it most with expectations that the program would deliver to vulnerable households to access better food.
The Minister said in preparing the Country Programming framework with key stakeholders, four pillars of priorities for agricultural development include; Strengthen National Food and Nutrition Security through enhanced nutrition sensitive and climate-smart food systems.
“Support for appropriate and operationally effective Agricultural Policy and Regulatory Framework; Improve efficient and Sustainable Management of natural resources and ecosystem.
“Others are: Disaster risk reduction, resilience building and emergency Management towards strengthening the Humanitarian Development nexus.
“It is essential to note that if the agriculture sector must be transformed, we must all prepare to invest massively in the sector and rise to the call against hunger and food wastes in the value chains.
“We should indeed develop a strong action Plan to address the impact of climate change, global pandemic, institutional inadequacies, post-harvest losses and weak supply chain on food systems in partnership with Development partners,’’ he said.