" ITREALMS: National Dialogue post 3rd BR: Ene Obi harps on infrastructural investment for agriculture - ITREALMS

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

National Dialogue post 3rd BR: Ene Obi harps on infrastructural investment for agriculture - ITREALMS

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Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria (AAN), Ms Ene Obi, has harped on infrastructural investment for agriculture growth across Nigeria, reports ITREALMS.
Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria (AAN), Ms Ene Obi
In her welcome address to the National Dialogue & Dissemination on Nigeria’s Performance at the 3rd Biennial Review Exercise on the Implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development (CAADP), on Wednesday at Hawthorn Suites, Abuja, Ene said, improved investment on infrastructure has become imperative especially in the agriculture sector.

She lamented that Federal Government before now established agencies, but nowadays without adequate funding thereby making the workers in such agencies to waste away.

She cited the deployment of Extension Workers who before now were attached to locals and farmers, but lamented that farmers especially women small holder farmers only have access to 5.26 per cent farm demonstrations and 19.47 per cent farmers field schools.

These, she said, have contributed in reducing the country’s performance reporting template which could be handy if requisite data and information are made available to reflect the realities on farmers’ especially small women farmers, across the 36 states of the federation.

Smallholder women farmers, Ene said, currently have only 18 per cent access to processing facilities, 16.60 per cent access to storage facilities, 13.50 per cent access to off-takers/access to markets, 9.60 per cent access to transportation for agricultural produce, and 42.30 per cent access to trainings, among others.

She also commended the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) for their roles in agricultural development in the country.

At AANigeria, she said, they have been using the available data in various policy influencing spaces where they are pushing the gaps as priority areas of where Scaling Up Public Investment in Agriculture is urgently needed, mostly in agriculture budgets and programmes both at the national and state levels.

For Nigeria to be on track in meeting the 2014 Malabo Declaration Commitments, going forward, she expressed hope that the three tiers of government would commit 10 per cent of their annual budget to the agriculture sector as required to support at least 6 per cent growth rate for the sector as postulated in the CAADP framework.

“And investments should focus on strategic areas of extension services, access to credit, women in agriculture, youth in agriculture, appropriate labour-saving technologies, inputs, post-harvest losses reduction supports (processing facilities, storage facilities, trainings, market access, etc.), Climate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture (CRSA)/Agroecology, Research and Development, Monitoring and Evaluation, as well as Coordination,” she pointed out.

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