The Action Aid Nigeria (AAN) has called for direct investments for small holders farmers especially women and youths to fast-track the nation’s recovery from recession and prevent recurrence.
The Country Director of the AAN, Ms. Ojobo Ode Atuluku made the call Monday in Kaduna during the opening of the “Stakeholders Consultative Meeting on 2018 Agriculture Budget” organised by the Action Aid Nigeria (AAN) and the Ministry of Budget and National Planning (MBNP).
The meeting which was first held in 2016 was to facilitate conversations among key stakeholders connecting the continental framework, the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) targets and government intentions within the Agriculture Promotion Policy (APP).
It was also to facilitate more citizens’ inputs into the 2018 Agriculture Budget, creating ownership, linking and integrating programmes that will help Nigeria achieve food security, wealth creation and deliverables within the continental CAADP framework.
Atuluku represented by the organization’s Policy Advocacy and Campaigns Manager, Mr Tunde Aremu, said that the meeting was also to support effective biennial reporting by Nigeria to the African Union Heads of States and Government by January 2018 in line with the Malabo Declaration and Commitments of 2014.
“We believe that if the right investments had been made over the years to support smallholder farmers especially women and youths in agriculture the nation’s economy probably would not have slipped into recession,” she said.
According to her, the country over the years, had failed to provide critical support to these farmers who feed the nation in the area of agricultural finance or credit, farm inputs, extension services, Climate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture (CRSA), labour saving technologies, and research and development.
She said that where these supports were provided, they had been insufficient and with excessive overheads, unclear and wasteful allocations.
She said the organisation agreed with the new Agriculture Promotion Policy of the Federal Government which clearly spells out that the underlying challenges of policy framework, political commitment, institutional reform and other variables need to be solved.
“We, however, believe that solving these challenges as envisaged in the Agriculture promotion policy is only achievable through participatory budgeting,” Atuluku said.
Also, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Mrs Nana Fatima Mede, said the current 2017 budget is based on Economic Recovery and Growth Strategy and provides a clear roadmap of policy actions and steps to bring the economy out of recession and to a path of steady growth and prosperity.
Mede represented by the Director Economic Growth in the ministry, Dr Kayode Obasa said the Federal Government is committed to stimulating the economy with strategic increase in key capital investment and also use the Agriculture sector to take the country out of underdevelopment.
Source: Daily Trust