The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, has stated that States and the private sector are critical to the successful implementation of Food Systems Implementation Pathways in Nigeria.
In his keynote address during a one-day consultative workshop organized for northern geo-political zones in Kano, Umakhihe said that the workshop was imperative for harvesting input from stakeholders, especially state actors in the Food System, to strengthen and ensure an inclusive and jointly owned plan, taking into consideration various professional, technical and socio-economic positions of the stakeholders.
“It is important to note that the Food System Transformation Agenda is not a Federal Government programme, but one that calls for concerted efforts from everyone, including the states, local governments, private sector. Development partners and the citizens as food security is a critical aspect of security and survival,” he said.
Umakhihe, who was represented by the Director of Irrigation Agriculture and Crop Development in the Ministry, Mrs Sugra Mahmood, said. “It is therefore incumbent on all of us to work collaboratively to ensure adequate food and nutrition security,”
“The Food System Pathways represent a comprehensive and holistic approach to sustainable development in the food system. It aims to improve the productivity and sustainability of the food system while promoting health and nutrition, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and enhancing socio-economic development in Nigeria” he said.
“The Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and our development partners constituted the 2023 Inter-Ministerial Task Team, made up of all relevant stakeholders of Federal MDAs across all relevant sectors of the economy, Development Partners and private sector to facilitate the implementation of the Priority actions for 2023. It is expected that the same arrangement would be made at the State level.”
Umakhihe pointed out that “This Consultation workshop, therefore, is designed to collate inputs from all of us here present and other relevant members of the society including a diverse group of stakeholders in food systems to engender inclusiveness of Nigeria’s Food System Transformation Pathways for the development of implementation strategy.”
Umakhihe said he was optimistic that the outcome of the zonal consultation would accelerate the implementation of the Food Systems Transformation Pathways in Nigeria.
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, who was represented on the occasion by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Usman Alhaji, said his administration had taken many measures towards sustainable food security in the last eight years, underscoring, for instance, its regular payment of salary to workers as a key factor in that it enabled them to access and procure foods that had bolstered their health and wellbeing.
While setting out the objective of the workshop, National Convenor of United Nations Food Systems in Nigeria, Dr Sanjo Faniran, said it would help to address the questions of poverty, inadequate supply of nutritious food, non-consumption of minimum dietary diversity, stunting, chronic malnutrition, underweight, anemia and diet-related non communicable diseases, including hypertension, diabetes, stroke, and cancers, among others.
He stressed that the programme sought to promote sustainable food trade, increase women’s empowerment in Agriculture Index Score, and increase Environmental Performance Index score.
The workshop was organized by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning in collaboration with the Kano State Government, Food Agricultural Organisation (FAO), Global Alliance International in Nigeria, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and other Development Partners.
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