FG lauds IFAD, appeals for expeditious release of $5m Grant for Food Security

The Hon. Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, CON and IFAD's Associate, Vice President,Dr. Donal Brown, during the High Level Meeting in Abuja.
The Hon. Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Senator Abubakar Kyari, CON and IFAD's Associate, Vice President,Dr. Donal Brown, during the High Level Meeting in Abuja.

Federal Government has lauded the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for being a formidable force in addressing unprecedented challenges facing the global food system, even as it also appealed for expeditious release of $5m grant intended for the county for the implementation of various programmes to boost food security across the country.

The Minister, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Abubakar Kyari, CON, gave the commendation during the high-level mission of IFAD’s Associate Vice President, Dr. Donal Brown visited his office in Abuja recently.

He underscored the overarching importance of the grant towards its various programmes.

According to him, “I will also like to appeal for the release of $5m ASAP grants to Value Chain Development Programme, VCDP, for climate change adaptation as well as the approval for her two year extension to enable the program improve on its disbursement status”.

The Minister pointed out the focus of IFAD on innovations for a food- secure future as exhibited in the last 47th session of IFAD Governing Council meeting in Rome, was a right step in the right direction in tackling food challenges.

He said that “Nigeria is committed to working closely with IFAD on Inclusive Agric Food System Transformation and Smallholder farmers’ empowerment”, adding that Nigeria’s commitment to partnership with IFAD on Innovative Finance for food system was evident in the Country’s participation in the United Nations Food System Stocktaking Moment in July, 2023.

“It is no doubt that the trio of the Inclusive Agrifood System Transformation, Smallholder Farmers’ Empowerment and Innovation Financing are levers of change that offers a unique opportunity to accelerate global food systems growth, productivity, safer environment, richer nutrition and better livelihood for rural communities.”

Speaking further, Abubakar pointed out that “it is important to express our warm gratitude to IFAD for her fidelity to due diligence in the existing operations of Federal Government/ 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) program underscores the unique quality of the laudable partnership.

He added that, “It is my strong believe 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, further stated that Nigeria is committed to IFAD’s future trajectory especially and essentially on leveraging innovation for agri-food system transformation, explaining that in this pathway, the Federal Government is prepared to organize an Agriculture and Food Security summit this year.

He noted that the summit will be designed to bring together a diverse community of organizational partners and strategic stakeholders representing the public, private and social sectors in a commitment to make a wider view innovation and new technologies significant enabling factors for Inclusive Agri-Food System Transformation and Smallholder farmers empowerment.

In his remarks, the Vice President, IFAD, Dr. Donal Brown stated that IFAD values the partnership with Nigeria.

According to him, “Nigeria is one of our strongest partners, and part of our mission is to strengthen and deepen that partnership.”

He thanked the government for the pledge for the new IFAD replenishment cycle (IFAD 13), noting that it is a sign of increasing the strength of partnership. The Vice President also pointed out that IFAD is not a humanitarian agency, rather what they do is to strengthen Agriculture and Food security in the area of Value change development project and they are supportive of additional financing to address food crisis.

Eremah Anthonia (Mrs)
Chief Information Officer
For: Director Information