President Muhammadu Buhari has acknowledged the contribution of donor finance towards the development of the nation’s agriculture thus far, noting that such development has been a big boost to the food basket.
Buhari made this disclosure during the 2nd National Commodity Alliance Forum and Cassava Value Chain Investment Dialogue held at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja recently.
Speaking during the programme, President Muhammadu Buhari who was represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono commended the supports, contribution and partnerships of the international donors currently providing funding and technical supports to various agriculture and rural development programmes in Nigeria.
According to him, “their interventions have significantly contributed to repositioning the sector as a viable business venture among our farmers and entrepreneurs.”
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Muazu Abdulkadir disclosed that through the CAF arrangement, VCDP rice farmers now realise an average of 5.0MT/h and contribute over 60,000MT of rice and 200,000MT of cassava to the national food basket, representing over N12billion contribution to the country’s GDP.
He added that “based on the successes recorded through the CAF model, FMARD plans to upscale it to National CAF status covering all the states in Nigeria.”
“Farmer organisations, off-takers, development partners, financial institutions, policy makers and governments are now partnering more than ever before to create the necessary synergy and collaboration to ensure sustainable development of this important sector of the Nigerian economy,” stated Mr. Garba Bala, the National Programme Coordinator of Value Chain Development Programme.
“The involvement and support of donor institutions in the agricultural sector has introduced a paradigm shift and repositioning agriculture as a business enterprise.”
The Forum also featured special award presentations to the governors of the nine VCDP States in recognition of their contributions to rice and cassava value chain.
The event, organised by FGN/IFAD assisted Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) with the theme “Enhancing Productivity and Market Opportunities for Cassava Value Chain Development”, the programme was aimed at improving the livelihood of poor rural households engaged in cassava value chain across the Programme States of Anambra, Ebonyi, Benue, Niger, Ogun, Taraba, Kogi, Nasarawa and Enugu.