AFDB plans investment in four states to end hunger
The African Bank said it expects governments of the benefiting states of Benue, Ebonyi, Sokoto and Ogun to come up with proposals on how the bank could assist them to end hunger in the states.They are also expected to select two crops and one livestock where they have comparative advantage and submit the estimate to committee on the Zero Hunger Project before the end of the year.
The Director, Agriculture and Agro Industry Department, AFDB, Dr Chiji Ojukwu, disclosed this during the final committee meeting on Zero Hunger by 2030, chaired by former President, Olusegun Obasanjo and also supported by the Institute of Tropical Agriculture, (IITA).
He said the implementation of the five-year project would commence in January 2017, adding that Obasanjo and other state governors have thrown their weight behind the project and the final document for the project would be submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari for endorsement.
Ojukwu said that the four benefiting states would get maximal support to move ahead while the others can join on their own, adding that the plan is to assist the state achieve self-sufficiency in some of the food crops Nigeria is not meeting up with demand.
He said: “These states have been selected to run with from January 2017, to make sure that most of these commodities where Nigeria is not meeting self sufficiency we can push them to run and move ahead with production, processing and then the community will monitor, provide resources, bring donors like us, AfDB to support them to stand.”
The AFDB official added that the plan is to add eight states after every two years of implementation, so that in five years all the 36 states would be covered to ensure that Nigeria is no longer a country that cannot feed its people.
He said the focal commodities under the project include rice, beans, sorghum, cowpea, vegetables adding that most of the spices that Nigeria produces but not sustained would be pushed up for local production.
He said the project would be implemented by the private sector, while the states and federal government provide the enabling environment to get production moving, adding that establishment of the mills, production, marketing, and processing would be left to the private sector.”