Ms Gloria Akobundu, National Coordinator, New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), has stated that to end hunger and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030, smallholder farmers’ capacity must be enhanced and strengthened.
She made this statement in Abuja at a stakeholders forum, tagged: “Strengthening Smallholder Farmers Capacities Towards Productive Land Restoration Amid COVID-19 in Nigeria.”
According to a news report by NAN, the National Coordinator of NEPAD said the forum is concerned with accelerating food security in Nigeria and cushioning the effect of COVID-19 towards building long-term resilience for sustainable economic growth and development.
According to her, government needs to take more proactive steps to improve nutrition and food supply. She, therefore, called on the Federal Government to effectively address the issue of hunger and food insecurity by actively involving smallholder farmers across the country.
She explained that this would not only help in winning the war against hunger and the widespread food insecurity in the country, but would go a long way to boost food production and strengthen economic resilience, in a bid to stimulate and enhance sustainable economic growth and development.
In this vein, Akobundu added that if the various intervention programmes were implemented, new jobs would be created, poverty reduced, while more youths would be engaged more positively.
What they are saying
The National Coordinator, New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Ms Gloria Akobundu, said:
- “This forum is to support the ruggedness of President Muhammadu Buhari and the state governors in mitigating the effects of COVID-19 and stamping out hunger in Nigeria through various intervention programmes. I believe that the high level of commitment shown by the governors of the participating states is due to the realisation that agriculture plays an important role in the economic development of any nation. However, a fundamental requirement for achieving food security is the availability of land, We also figure that a massive investment into the agriculture sector will promote industrialization.”
The Lead Consultant of the various intervention programmes, Mr. Henry Semenitari, said:
- “We shall remain ready for your demands and needs. Everyone has a role in the value chain and no one will be at a loss. The programme will start at the bottom of the pyramid. NEPAD is ready. African Union Development Agency is ready. The governors and states are also ready. We are going to use modules and techniques, including local languages, to achieve maximum results.”