By Bukola Adewumi
Some stakeholders in the Agriculture and Environment sectors are set to establish a multi stakeholder gender sensitive platform, for advocacy on nutritional food security in the country.
HajIa Salamatu Garba, Founder, Women Farmers Advanced Network and Lead Consultant on UNDP-GEF food security project, said on Friday in Abuja that the platform became necessary to foster food security.
She added that it would also enhance sustainability resilience of food production systems in Nigeria.
According to her, the project is supported by United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) and Global Environmental Facility (GEF) in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) to implement a five-year project.
The WOFAN boss said there was the need for stakeholders in the agriculture sector to come together to see how to enhance policy and institutional enabling environment, in a bid to achieve improved food security in a resilient and value chain driven manner.
She however appealed to the members to put the interest of the group in their hearts and work to ensure that the aim of the project was realized.
”Most project die after one to two years because people make money their priority and not the interest of the project.
”Let us not be sentimental, we should see the project as our own people, let us commit ourselves to see that this project work,” she said.
Ms Rhoda Dia, Project Manager, Resilient Food Security Project, said that the overgoal of the project was to enhance long term sustainability and resistance of food production systems in Nigeria.
She further reiterated the need to enhance the policy and institutional environment for achieving improved food security in a sustainable resilient and value chain driven manner.
”There is need to reduce gender disparities in agricultural production, which affect overall sector performance,” she said.
According to her, the multi stakeholder gender sensitive platform is to advocate for sustainable agricultural and improved food and nutrition security.
“The platform will enable consistent advocate for a fairer deal for small scale farmers, for improvements in decision making on food production processing utilisation and marketing,” she added.
Mr Oladipo Osibo, UNDP Nigeria Climate Change Unit Representative, said women must play a dominant role in nutritional food development and wealth generation.
He however commended them for availing themselves the opportunity to serve and ensure that Nigeria addressed the issue of food insecurity and poverty.
Mr Peter Dama, Chairman Rice Miller’s Association of Nigeria (RIMAN) commended the UNDP- GEF project and WOFAN, for bring together various stakeholders in the agriculture sector to foster sustainable food security.
He also emphasised the need for stakeholders in agriculture sector to be alive to their responsibilities and see how women could be empowered to improve food production, processing and marketing.
Mr Yusuf Abdullahi, Principal Agricultural Extension Specialist Rural Development Consultant, commended the organiser of the project aimed at ensuring food security.