• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

World Bank, ACRESAL, others strategise on bridging agricultural data gap

Obasanjo Farms, AgriConnect partner to drive agric innovation

A global multi-institutional collaboration, including the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), is strategizing to deploy $500 million fund to bridge agriculture data gap.

These institutions are working with the Agro Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) which is an agency of the Federal Government supported by the World Bank with the mandate to manage environmental, agriculture and water resources.

It is expected that, in the next 10 years, through an internationally conceived 50×2030 initiative, this global collaboration will be committing the US$500 million fund to data gathering to stop agricultural production without solid information base.

Expected gains from the 50×2030 initiative, according to a source at ACReSAL, include increased agricultural productivity, enhanced livelihoods and development of informed, smart and virile agricultural policies. The programme aims to build capacity to enable data-driven policies and decision-making.

The partnership, through the 50×2030 initiative, is also expected to directly impact 50 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America by 2030. In Nigeria, the mandate for implementing the 50×2030 initiative is the ACReSAL project.

Through ACreSAL, the Federal Government strategises checking the menace of desertification, restoring degraded lands, developing special ecosystems and catalysing sustainable agricultural production in Nigeria’s 19 northern states as well as the FCT, Abuja. The initiative will help achieve food security, sustainability and climate change by building stronger national agricultural data systems.

Joy Agene, AGReSAL’s Project Task Team Leader, says that the expected gains from the 50×2030 initiative which also holds great promises, include taming desertification, stemming the shrinking of the Lake Chad, obviating the climate change induced pastoral nomadism that keep unleashing harm on farmers through herders clashes and insecurity.

She rued the possibility of the 50×2030 initiative catalysing the development of a virile Agro Data Bank and its timely release to guide agricultural and climate experts as well as policy makers in planning Nigeria agricultural progress.

Addressing a team of strategic experts drawn locally and internationally, Agene explained the need for contributions from stakeholders who would enliven the initiative, disclosing that ACReSAL has sourced experts locally from the National Bureau of Statistics, the Federal Ministries of Agriculture and Environment and Non-Governmental Organisations.

“The FAO, the World Bank and IFAD are to offer technical guidance towards the success of the initiative,” she said, adding that funding for the 50/ 2030 initiative is planned to be sustainable.

“The funding will be sourced through participatory contribution. Governments of the participatory nations have to make available 70 percent of the funding if they are to unlock the rest 30 percent funding from the development partners,” Agene said.

The national data gathering exercise is scheduled to hold between October 2024 and April 2025. The sourced data are planned, after analysis, to be ready for use six months after the end of the exercise.

In preparatory for the Data collection exercise, ACReSAL organised a two-day training for all its officers from across the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory and stakeholders between April 24 and 25, 2024.