Naija Foodie Update

FOODIE NAIJA UPDATE (DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS, PRIVATE SECTOR COMMIT $1.7bn FOR FOOD SECURITY)

The private sector and development partners have so
far committed $1.7billion for the
development of agriculture in the country under the New Alliance and Grow Africa
Partnerships.

The partnership was an initiative of G8 Summit at L’Aquila, Italy, which was
formed to support Africa’s effort
towards food and nutrition security.

Essentially, it is a partnerships
agreement between the government, private sector and
development partners on targeted actions needed to
promote agriculture investment and consequently food and nutrition security in Nigeria.

Out of the $1.1billion expected to be invested by the private sector by 2016, a total of
$1.4billion had already been provided, representing an
achievement rate of 123%.

On the other hand, development
partners who were expected to have provided a total of
$420million in aid for
agriculture by 2016 have actually made the sum 294
million available, representing a
70% achievement rate.

On the part of the government, which was also expected to
fulfil its own part of the agreement by completing 26
specified tasks by June 2016, 9 of such obligations were
said to have been carried out,
representing a 35%
achievement rate.

Policy Analyst, ECOWAS Commission /Head, Regional
Strategic Analysis and
Knowledge Support System -West Africa (ReSaKSS WA), Dr.
Manson Nwafor said the purpose of the partnerships was to increase private
investment and improve food
security.

Giving an overview of New Alliance/Grow Africa Partnerships in Nigeria at a workshop on policy validation of annual progress report in
Abuja, he said government made 27 specific commitments
in 13 broad areas including seed and fertilizer, agriculture
financing, agriculture insurance, nutrition, land titling, staple
crops processing zones, commodity exchange, enterprise registration and
power availability.

Development Partners had committed to predictable funding of $500 million over the 2013 – 2016 period while the
private sector made
commitments in the areas of agriculture investment $3.8
billion in the 2013 – 2023 period.

Among other things, the workshop sought to identify key challenges private investors face and make recommendations on the priority actions that the government and development
partners need to undertake in
addressing them.

It also sought to discuss if any
amendments are needed to the
contents of the New Alliance and Grow Africa agreements
(including the commitments) in
order to better promote agriculture investment and food
security.

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural
Development, Dr. Shehu Ahmed said the federal government
committed to 13 major policy actions in the areas of seed and fertilizer, Bank of Industry, agricultural insurance, and
nutrition among others.

He explained that the federal government, private sector and
development partners had written commitments on key
actions to be embarked upon in
order to improve agricultural
investment and food and nutrition in line with the principles of the Comprehensive
African Agriculture Development
Programme (CAADP).
Coordinator, Agric Business Group, Mr. Emmanuel Ijewere
said the prevailing economic conditions necessitated the
review of the New Alliance and Grow Africa initiative as well as the need to assess the impact of
the scheme on Nigerians and
the way forward.

He said: “I think it’s a very good time to bring forward because at the time the two concepts,
Grow AFRICA and the New Alliance were put together, the
economic situation in Nigeria was different from what it is
today.

“The past 24 months have been extremely dramatic and the next
twelve months are going to be even more dramatic in terms of how it is impacting on the lives of our people.
“So reviewing it today is a very
good one to ask ourselves if we
are on the right tract. It has however, achieved consciousness of the need to realise that Africa’s comparative
advantage is in agriculture.

Africa alone controls 64% of the available land in the world to grow food.”

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