IITA/SARD-SC Workshop Reveals Emerging Shifts In Countries’ Agricultural Policy
The IITA/Support for Agricultural Research and Development of Strategic Crops (SARD-SC) project’s Mid Term Review by the African Development Bank(AfDB) has highlighted some successes in terms of implementation and in the development of the value chains of the four mandate crops- rice, wheat, cassava and maize. This was revealed at a two-day Stakeholders Consultation Workshop organised by the SARD-SC project last week in IITA, Ibadan, Oyo state.
Conceptualised and funded by the AfDB with the objective of enhancing food and nutrition security and contributing to poverty reduction in selected 20 African countries, the SARD-SC project has recorded some notable impacts in the agricultural policies of some of the countries within two years of the project implementation. Some of the key emerging shifts in policy noted as a result of SARD-SC intervention include youth empowerment and involvement in agribusiness; prototype farming tools from Asia are now being fabricated locally by small-to-medium scale entrepreneurs and made available for women to reduce drudgery in rice value chains in most of the countries the project operates.
Wheat has been included as a priority in the Nigerian Government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA) and domestic production is targeted as a solution for curbing ever growing import dependence and for ensuring food security. Government is changing some policies to boost wheat production in other countries as well and reduce the importation of wheat grain or flour.