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APPEALS Project, Enugu chapter, shines at 14th National Agric show

APPEALS Project, Enugu chapter, shines at 14th National Agric show

As the United Nations Organisation (UNO) celebrates World Food Day 2022, today, October 16, 2022 with the theme: ‘Leave No One Behind’ the sense of inclusiveness it promotes against global hunger brings to the fore efforts of related organisations to walk the talk on food and nutrition security. Of significance is that World Food Day is celebrated to commemorate the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).

As enlightened citizens, we must feel concerned because as at today, as many as 828 million people suffer from hunger and 3.1 billion people – almost 40 percent of the world’s population – cannot afford a healthy diet. These are traceable to climate emergency, conflicts, rising prices, environmental degradation and the knock-on effects of the COVID-19 pandemic which have all impacting on food access and security.

Interestingly, collective action across 150 countries and in more than 50 languages makes World Food Day one of the most celebrated UN days of the year, worldwide. Hundreds of events and outreach activities bring together a wide range of stakeholders, including governments, civil society organizations, the private sector, farmers, and youth.

“We need to build a sustainable world where everyone, everywhere has regular access to enough nutritious food. No one should be left behind”

-United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Climate on twitter

This year’s edition was officially launched on Friday, 14 October, 2022 by the FAO Director-General QU Dongyu, with a hybrid event in Rome together with the Mayor of Rome Roberto Gualtieri and the heads of the other UN Rome-based agencies. Others included Alvaro Lario, the President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), David M. Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP). The Ceremony also featured special messages from Pope Francis, the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella, and UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

In specific terms, World Food Day 2022 launches a resounding call to ‘Leave No One Behind’, through Better Production, Better Nutrition, a Better Environment, and a Better Life. It calls for global solidarity to transform agrifood systems in a bid to foster inclusive economic growth, address inequalities, increase resilience, and achieve sustainable development.

Coincidentally, coming into the Nigerian perspective, with a similar vision is the World Bank assisted Agro – Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) Project. And over the years, it has amply demonstrated to be one organization that has been making the desired impact on the quality of lives of the citizenry, to greatly improve on their food security.

For instance, the Enugu State APPEALS Project recently registered a strong representation at the 14th National Agricultural Show which held between 11th – 14th October, 2022. The memorable event took place at the Trade Fair Complex in Tundun-Wada, KM 28, Keffi-Abuja Expressway, venue of the show. The National Agricultural show is an annual event, and the 2022 edition brought together farmers, manufacturers, dealers in agri-products, ministries, departments, agencies, farming associations, international agriculture donor agencies, among many others.

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The Exhibition stand of Enugu State APPEALS Project was a beehive of activities as many visitors thronged the stand to see for themselvesthe various innovations being displayed as well as interact with beneficiaries and staff of the Project. At the Enugu APPEALS Project stand, various products from beneficiaries of the project were displayed for the visitors at the show. These included spiced and natural cashew nuts, the unique cashew butter, the innovative, odourless poultry manure, the nutrition-rich fortified rice flour and eggs. That is what creativity is all about- giving light and life to hitherto dormant dreams.

Welcoming visitors to the stand, the Acting Project Coordinator; Mrs. IhuomaEze informed the visitors that, through the technology support of Enugu APPEALS Project to farmers, they were able to come up with unique products which have enhanced their productivity as well as improved the quality of their value addition and packaging. She added that the Enugu State Governor, Rt. Hon Dr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has tremendously supported the project.

The Enugu APPEALS, at the end of the project life cycle, is expected to have empowered 10, 000 small scale farmers in cashew, poultry and rice production, processing and marketing in the state. Among these 10,000 direct beneficiaries are 1,700 in the women and youth empowerment category. These are start-up farmers, processors and marketers in the value chains of aquaculture, cashew, cassava, poultry and rice, among the demography of women, youth and people with disabilities.

All these salutary efforts run in sync with the vision of the Agro Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support – APPEALS Project which comes as a six-year project developed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) in collaboration with the World Bank and other stakeholders.

The Project is in line with the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) 2016-2020 of the Federal Government of Nigeria, also known as the Green Alternative, which built on the legacy of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA). It plans to support policy thrusts on Food Security, Local Production, Job Creation and Economic Diversification.

The APPEALS Project’s National Office and six participating states of #CrossRiver, #Enugu, #Kaduna, #Kano, #Kogi and #Lagos actively participated at the 14th edition of the National Agric Show to showcase beneficiaries’ finished products & innovations.

With regards to Technology Adoption:, it is worthy of note that in Kano state, farmers’ adoption of the combined harvesters introduced by the APPEALS Project has become a success story of increased production, enhanced productivity and improved livelihoods for beneficiaries.

That of Lagos state is hinged on Afowo Cluster’s adoption of the Tilapia Cage Culture technology supported by LAGOSAPPEALS and the 0.275km farm access road constructed to ease access for the cluster in Afowo community of Badagry.

With all these worthy achievements in view, we heartily celebrate and also highlight people whose actions are transforming agrifood systems with FAO’s first-ever Achievement Awards. These are conferred on entities or individuals, including FAO teams or employees, for outstanding technical cooperation or humanitarian work at country level, similar to what APPEALS Project has achieved here in Nigeria. Big kudos!

World Food Day once again recognises #FoodHeroes throughout the agrifood system who, no matter the circumstances, continue to produce, plant, harvest, fish or transport our food, but also advocate for change, helping to grow, nourish and sustain our world.

.Additional information by Mr. Ambrose Igboke, Communication Officer, APPEALS Project, Enugu.