FG inaugurate steering committees for donor funded Agric projects

The Federal Government has inaugurated five national steering committees to drive effective implementation of donor funded projects under the Ministry of Agriculture.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammad Abubakar speaking during the inauguration in Abuja on Thursday said that the activities of the committee would be critical in enhancing food security, job creation, rural development and economic diversification which are the core mandates of the projects.

According to the Minister, “It is pertinent to mention, that the collaboration and partnership existing between the donor assisted projects have yielded a remarkable result in the development of Agri-business hubs in Nigeria.”

The National Steering Committees for FGN/IFAD Projects, which included Value Chain Development Projects (VCDP), Livelihood Improvement and Family Support Enterprise (LIFE-ND) and Climate Change Adaptation and Agribusiness Support Programme.

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Others are three donor assisted projects, namely; Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP), Agro-Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project (APPEALS), and Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Programme Phase-One (ATASP-1)).

According to him, without steering committees, it is difficult to effectively track project’s performance, “especially the approval and monitoring of annual workplan and budget which is the core responsibility of the steering committees as contained in the project appraisal document of projects.

“This is so significant in the area of provision of food security, job creation, youth empowerment, rural development and economic diversification especially now that the country is facing an unprecedented high cost of food items,” he added.

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Ernest Umakhihe, urged the newly inaugurated Committees to align the project activities towards the promotion of commercial agriculture (Agribusiness) to ensure food sustainability, job creation and income generation.

Committee members for the ATASP 1 project include the Minister as the Chairman with thirteen other members, the RAAMP project has 17 members with the Minister as Chairman, APPEALS also has the Minister as Chairman with 20 members.

Also, the FGN/IFAD – VCDP has 26 members with the Minister as Chairman and FGN/IFAD-LIFE-ND has 18 members with the Minister as Chairman.