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April 20, 2024
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IFAD deepens partnership with int’l. community on Nigeria’s food, nutrition security

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By Felicia Imohimi

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) says it is committed to collaborating with international community in addressing Nigeria’s food and nutrition challenges.

Dr Donal Brown, IFAD Associate Vice President Rome, made this pledge at the International news conference on Saturday in Abuja tagged “Dr Brown High-level Mission to Nigeria.’’

Brown said the mission was to deepen IFAD’s partnership with the Federal Government and also support government’s efforts at food system transformation.

According to him, the gesture is geared towards food and nutrition, security, improved livelihoods of smallholder farmers and inclusive agro-industrialisation.

“My mission is not only to strengthen our partnership but secondly is to look at the future direction of support that IFAD can provide the government.

“My visit is also to review IFAD partnership with Nigeria on food security and agriculture and to think about the future directions support we can give.”

The associate vice president, who decried many challenges facing Nigeria ranging from inflation and food among others, said that President Bola Tinubu’s emergency declaration on food would make a difference in that context.

Brown said IFAD worked in rural communities with smallholder farmers to improve food security and agriculture,  adding that  the organisation had strong partnership with government.

He assured that the organisation would design a new project to support the government’s food production value chain on climate adaptation.

“Most of our programmes, like the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises in Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) are really performing very well.

“We have a very good project in Niger Delta focusing on youth entrepreneurship and value chain project and also supporting the African Development Bank on Special Agro Processing Zone (SAPZ) project.”

On his assessment of the organisation’s ongoing projects in some states of the federation, Brown said the projects were impactful with few challenges.

“LIFE-ND is extremely successful and I am looking at extending the project for two years; VCDP which has been in the country for 10 years also has very good result.

Dr Yaya Olaniran, IFAD Executive Board Member Nigeria and Permanent Representative to IFAD, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP), Rome, said the country was dealing with four terrible situations.

Olaniran identified the challenges as climate change effect, COVID-19 effect, conflict and high cost of input describing the challenges as diverse of inflation.

“These situations will not go away until some of the necessary palliative measures are put in place and the two projects LIFE-ND and VCDP are talking about addressing right, front and back.

“So, whatever we want to do if the government is prepared, ready to play her part and the needful are done it will be easier for other countries to come in and assist.

“For the president to declare a state of emergency on food means all hands must be on deck, take care of what you can take care of particularly in the rural,” he said.

Dr Dede Ekoue, IFAD Country Director, Nigeria, identified the priority challenge to be addressed as resilience to economic shock regarding prices.

According to her, internally, there is need to work to get the most out of the funding by ensuring that all the implementation is done more efficiently.

“When we invest efficiently; we can drive more result,” she said.(NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Chidinma Agu and Chijioke Okoronkwo

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