The Federal Government has praised the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for appropriating a portfolio of over 360 million US dollars for agricultural development programmes in Nigeria.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammed Sabo Nanono made this known in his office at the inauguration ceremony of the combined National Steering Committee and REVIEW/Approval of 2021 Annual Work Plan and Budget for three IFAD – Assisted Projects on Tuesday.
In a press statement signed by Ahmed Aminu, the Technical Adviser (Media) to the Minister, the development, Nanono said was in tandem with the agricultural priorities and mandate of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The collaboration and partnership arising from International development/donor cooperation have yielded positive results in the development of Nigeria’s agricultural sector, he added.
The minister explained that the funds will directly target over 250,000 vulnerable smallholder farmers in rural communities across the country.
Nanono further noted that evidence from project reports and independent assessments has revealed that IFAD-supported projects have contributed immensely to the development of agriculture in four key areas including the provision of food security, job creation and economic diversification among others.
The minister, therefore, urged the members of the steering committees to among other things consider and approve the annual work plan and budget for 2021, review and assess progress made in project implementation and provide policy advisory and general oversight to all programmes.
On his part, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Dr. Earnest Umakhihe expressed delight that the IFAD-funded projects were enhancing incomes, creating jobs and improving the welfare and livelihood of vulnerable smallholder farmers, especially women and youths on a sustainable basis.
Umakhihe stated that through the IFAD support projects agricultural inputs were currently being procured and distributed to about 30,000 vulnerable farmers across the country for the wet and dry season farming.
He, therefore, assured of the Ministry’s continued support for all IFAD’s projects in the country.
Meanwhile, AgroNigeria gathered that the membership of the National Steering Committee was drawn from various ministries, agencies, international development and donor agencies.
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