The Federal Government has disclosed the launch of five national steering committees for donor-funded projects implemented by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to boost food security and create jobs.
This was made public by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, on Thursday.
Abubakar stated that the donor-funded projects are a significant milestone for the development of Nigeria’s food value chain.
He said, “It is pertinent to note that the collaboration and partnership with the donors have yielded remarkable results in the development of agri-business hubs in Nigeria.
“This is so significant in the area of provision of food security, job creation, youth empowerment, rural development and economic diversification, especially now that the country is facing an unprecedented high cost of food items.
“One can see vividly that the policy and institutional framework for all the projects are in line with the core mandates of the ministry.
“This mandates food security, job creation, import substitution and economic diversification.”
He stated that the projects have been without steering committees making it difficult to implement measures including tracking the approval and monitoring of the Annual Work Plan and Budgets (AWPB), which is the core responsibility of the steering committees as contained in the project appraisal document.
The Committees include Steering committees for FGN/IFAD projects, which included Value Chain Development Projects (VCDP), Livelihood Improvement and Family Support Enterprise (LIFE-ND), and Climate Change Adaptation and Agribusiness Support Programme were inaugurated in 2021.
The ATASP-1 has the minister as chairman, leading 13 members; the RAAMP has 17 members with the minister as chairman, while APPEALS has 20 members with the minister also as the chairman.
FGN/IFAD –VCDP has 26 members with the minister as chairman, and FGN/IFAD –LIFE-ND has 18 members with the minister also as chairman.
“Committee members should, in pursuance of their responsibilities endeavour to align the project activities toward the promotion of commercial agriculture to ensuring food sustainability, job creation and income generation.
“This idea will encourage large-scale mechanised agricultural production, smallholder farmers along the value chain of production, processing and marketing,” he urged.