• Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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FG solicits $5m grant for agric value chain project

FG commences distribution of free grains in Northwest

The Federal Government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has solicited the release of $5 million by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), for the implementation of the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise – Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) and the Value Chain Development Program (VCDP).

Abubakar Kyari, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security made the appeal while playing host to Donal Brown, IFAD’s Associate Vice President in Abuja.

According to Kyari, the Nigeria Government has remained committed to IFAD’s future trajectory, especially leveraging on the innovation for agri-food system transformation.

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He said, “it is my strong belief that some of the next steps in the implementation of LIFE-ND which include the approval of one year extension, request for $20m additional Financing (AF) and preparation of LIFE-ND phase 2 will be given accelerated attention. I would also like to appeal for the release of a $5m ASAP grant to VCDP for climate change adaptation as well as the approval of her request for two-year extension to enable the program to improve on its disbursement status.

“Nigeria is committed to IFAD’s future trajectory especially and essentially on leveraging innovation for agri-food system transformation. In line with this pathway, the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) is prepared to organize an agriculture and food security summit this year.

“It is designed to bring together a diverse community of organizational partners and strategic stakeholders representing the public, private and social sectors in a commitment to make this wider view of innovation and new technologies significant enabling factors for Inclusive Agri-Food System Transformation and Smallholder farmers’ empowerment.”

He explained that the trio of the Inclusive Agri-Food System Transformation, Smallholder Farmers’ Empowerment and Innovative Financing would provide a unique opportunity to accelerate global food systems growth, leveraging on new sustainable models for better agricultural productivity, safer environment, richer nutrition, and better livelihood for rural communities.

Donal Brown, IFAD’s Associate Vice President, noted that not only the organization’s mission is to strengthen its relationship with the country, but also to look at the future direction of support that it can provide the Government.

“Part of our mission is looking at the new projects and part of it is looking at how we can strengthen the performance of the existing projects as well as design new ones.

“IFAD can play its part in supporting the government, we are not a humanitarian agency, but much of what we do is strengthening agriculture and food security.

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“I hear very good things about the life project that you were talking about and I am supportive of additional financing for the second phase and I also hear good things about the value chain development project. But I hear some issues about how we can improve the efficiency and the performance of that project.

“I would like us to address those issues if we are to look at an extension of that project because I think some of the issues that need to be addressed need to be addressed before I can look at the extension,” he said.