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Nigeria is committed to working closely with IFAD on Inclusive Agri-Food System Transformation- Minister

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By Victoria Onehi

The Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Senator Abubakar Kyari, has reiterated governments commitment to working with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) on achieving Agri- Food Systems Transformation in Nigeria.

The Minister disclosed this during the High-Level Mission of IFAD’s Associate Vice President, Dr. Donal Brown,  to his office in Abuja on Tuesday.

The Minister said: “Nigeria is committed to working closely with IFAD on Inclusive Agri-Food System Transformation and Smallholder farmers’ empowerment. Also, our commitment to partnership with IFAD on Innovative Finance for Food System is evident in our participation in the United Nations Food System Stocktaking Moment in July, 2023.

“It is no doubt that the trio of the Inclusive Agri-Food System Transformation, Smallholder farmers’ empowerment and Innovative Financing are levers of change that offers a unique opportunity to accelerate global food systems growth, leveraging on new sustainable models for better agricultural productivity, safer environment, richer nutrition, and better livelihood for rural communities.”Kyari said.

The Minister expressed gratitude to IFAD for her fidelity to due diligence in the existing operations of FGN/IFAD Portfolios. 

“The smooth implementation of the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise – Niger Delta (LIFE-ND), Value Chain Development Program (VCDP), Additional Financing (AF) and Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone (SAPZ) Programme underscores the unique quality of our strategic partnership.

“It is my strong belief that some of the next steps in the implementation of LIFE-ND which include the approval of one year extension, request for $20m additional Financing (AF) and preparation of LIFE-ND phase 2 will be given accelerated attention.”Kyari said.

The Minister appealed to IFAD for the release of $5m ASAP grant to VCDP for climate change adaptation as well as the approval of her request for two-year extension to enable the program improve on its disbursement status.

IFAD’s Associate Vice President, Dr. Donal Brown, disclosed that he and his team came to Nigeria to engage with the new government on how IFAD can deepen support with Nigeria not only in the short-term but in the long-term to avoid food crises.

He said IFAD will continue to support Nigerias’ Flagship project, Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zone (SAPZ) which enables small holder farmers to aggregate produce and gives them access to machines that are easy for agriculture processing.

” For the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise – Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) project,IFAD likes to support successful projects.

The LIFE-ND project has been very successful.Government has officially asked if we can support the 2nd phase. It is a high performing project and we are ready to support the 2nd phase. Development does not happen in 5 to 10 years. It happens in 20 to 30 years, so when you have successful interventions, building on is the way to make it sustainable.” Brown explained.

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