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ActionAid, NASS collaborate on 10% annual budgetary allocation to agriculture

ActionAid says it is collaborating with the National Assembly to ensure Nigeria meets its commitment to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme....

ActionAid says it is collaborating with the National Assembly to ensure Nigeria meets its commitment to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) on allocation of 10 per cent annual budget to agriculture.

Mrs Ene Obi, Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, said this at the National Parliamentary Briefing on Nigeria’s Performance in the 3rd Biennial Review (BR) Report on Friday in Abuja.

She said the briefing was aimed at Scaling-Up Public Investments in Agriculture (SUPIA2) Project implemented by ActionAid Nigeria and ActionAid International.

According to her the collaboration will promote and scale-up public investments in agriculture, both political and budget commitment, to drive inclusive, lasting agricultural transformation at the national and state-levels.

The programme was organised by the ActionAid in collaboration with the Reps and Senate Committees on Agriculture.

Obi said the committees had a great opportunity through their oversight functions to bridge the budgetary gaps in moving the agricultural sector forward.

She said, “for Nigeria to be on track in meeting the 2014 Malabo Declaration Commitments the lawmakers should impress upon the three tiers of government to commit 10 per cent of their annual budgets to the agriculture sector.

“This will required to support at least six per cent growth rate for the sector as postulated in the CAADP framework.

“Investments should focus on strategic areas of extension services, access to credit by women and youth in agriculture, appropriate labour-saving technologies, inputs, post-harvest losses reduction supports (processing facilities, storage facilities, trainings, market access) and climate resilience.”

Obi said parliamentarians needed to be abreast of programmes to be able to support the review of the proposed agriculture in line with the Malabo indicators that countries report to in the BR to the African Union.

“The project also seeks to catalyse increased quantity and improved quality of public investment in agriculture through enhanced citizens’ participation in evidence-based policy making to increase the productivity and well-being of smallholder farmers.

“This parliamentary briefing will serve as an avenue to brief the committees on Nigeria’s past and current performance in the BR and provide recommendations that will help improve its performance towards meeting the Malabo commitment,’’ she said.

Dandutse Mohammed, Chairman House Committee on Agricultural Production and Services, assured of NASS’ commitment to provide adequate oversight function.

Mohammed specifically assured that both committees would ensure that budget lines, programmes and activities that Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and states ministries of agriculture were executed in line with the Malabo indicators.

He further said that NASS would ensure there was enhance food security, being the greatest challenge in the country.

“It is important that we know what is happening within the BR process as committees and make good progress going forward.

“Therefore, we look forward to learning more and having conversations on these critical issues considering our preparedness to advance Nigeria’s agricultural sector toward food security and wealth creation for citizens,’’ he said.

Constance Okeke, Project Manager, Food and Agriculture, ActionAid International, said BR report was released in February 2022.

She said the report was on the African Union on the Implementation of the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods.

Okeke said the report was launched by AUC and ECOWAS in March respectively.

“This CAADP biennial review is a powder keg of evidence measuring progress in seven performance areas, tracking a total of 49 indicators across 52 countries.

“It generates useful insights into ending hunger, reducing poverty, improving nutrition, enhancing social protection, and sustaining good land management, amongst others.

“The BR conveys a complex but fundamental picture of progress among nations in the fight against hunger and raising living standards across the continent,’’ Okeke added.

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