FG  Plans Food Security Summit, Seeks Extension of VCDP by 2yrs

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The federal government says it is planning to organised and agriculture and food security summit this year. The event will bring together a diverse community of organizational partners and strategic stakeholders representing the public, private and social sectors in a commitment to make innovation and new technologies significant enabling factors for Inclusive Agri-Food System Transformation and Smallholder farmers’ empowerment.

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security,  Sen Abubakar Kyari who disclosed this on Tuesday when he received the Associate Vice President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Dr. Donal Brown in his office, also appealed to IFAD for the release of $5 million Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) grant to Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) for climate change adaptation as well as the approval of a request for two-year extension to enable the programme  improve on its disbursement status.

He commended IFAD for what he called her fidelity to due diligence in the existing operations of FGN/IFAD Portfolios. The minister said “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 our strategic partnership.”

Senator Kyari 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,” he said.

“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 offer 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.”

Responding,  the IFAD Vice President, Dr. Brown said Nigeria is one of IFAD’s strongest partners and part of his mission is to try to strengthen and deepen that partnership.

He thanked the federal government for its pledge for the new IFAD replenishment cycle, IFAD 13. “I think that is a sign of the increasing strength of the relationship and partnership,” Brown said.

“For us, it’s important for two reasons. One, it is a sign of the commitment of the government to IFAD, and secondly, all the money that we raise through our replenishment cycle is money that we immediately program back into our projects in countries like Nigeria. So the more money we raise, the more money for countries like Nigeria.”

The IFAD Chief said his mission is not only to strengthen the existing  relationship, but also to look at the future direction of support that IFAD can provide the government.

“Part of that is looking at the new projects and part of it is looking at the performance of the existing projects and how we can strengthen the performance of the existing projects as well as design new ones,” he said. 

“I hear very good things about the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise – Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) project that you were talking about and I am supportive of additional financing for the second phase there. I also hear very good things about the  VCDP project, but I also hear some issues about how we can improve the efficiency and the performance of that project. 

“I would like to address those issues if we’re to look at an extension of that project because I think some of the issues that need to be addressed need to be addressed before I can look at the extension.”

 

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