We've committed $1.5bn supporting Nigeria's agric sector — IFAD

We’ve committed $1.5bn supporting Nigeria’s agric sector — IFAD

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The Associate Vice President of International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Rome, Dr. Donal Brown has revealed that since its presence in Nigeria, IFAD has spent about $1.5 billion supporting Nigeria’s agric sector projects.

Dr Brown further explained that IFAD’s current portfolio in Nigeria stands at about $400 million while it commits about $110 million every three years in the country.

Addressing journalists on Saturday on the outcome of his High-Level meetings with the Nigerian Authorities, Brown expressed confidence that the present administration was committed to food security.

He said the aim of his visit was to meet the new government and review IFAD’s support to the government and also plan the future direction and the support where IFAD can come in for support.

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“The objective of my visit was to come and engage with the new government in Nigeria to review IFAD’s support to the government of Nigeria on food security and agriculture and to think about the future direction and support that we can play.

“Nigeria is facing many challenges as you all know, with inflation, with the issue around food. The president declared an emergency on food security and I think he can make a difference in that context.

“IFAD is not a humanitarian agency, but we work with rural communities, smallholder farmers to improve food security and agriculture, and our projects on the ground have been doing a lot of that.

“We have been in Nigeria since 1978, and we have spent about $1.5 billion in Nigeria. Our current portfolio is about $400 million, we invest about $110 million every three years, and we are looking forward to future investment.

“I think the new government will be a very strong partner, I think we have an opportunity to support the government on the food security situation and also try to look at long-term solutions”, the IFAD Associate Vice President said.

He further stated that there were several discussions with the government about the ongoing projects, as most of them are performing very well, while some have recently closed.

Brown told journalistes that IFAD and the Nigerian government are designing a new project to support food production value chain in northern Nigeria and climate adaptation.

“We have a very good project in the Niger Delta region, we focused on youth entrepreneurship, and in the Central belt, we have a very big flagship value chain project. We are also supporting the African Development Bank on the Special Agriculture Processing Zone (SAPZ) project.

“There are very good impacts in the ongoing projects, there are few challenges which we discussed but I am very confident that the government will be responding to that and we can deepen the impact”, Brown noted.

The IFAD Country Director, Mrs Dede Ekoue, on her part, said the Livelihood Improvemnet Family Enterprise Project for the Niger Delta (LIFE-ND and the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) have strong performances on ground.

She said the programmes have adopted strategies to strengthen the resilience of farmers to climate change alongside working to enhance food and nutrition security.

“The projects of the Nigerian government and IFAD are have strong performance on the ground around several parameters which includes productivity, production, income are all improved significantly.

“We have strong commitment to the local communities, the farmers’ group, their involvement is important. These programmes have successful strategies to strengthen the resilience of farmers to climate change and also work on enhancing food and nutrition security, as well as inclusion of women, youth, people living with disabilities”, Ekoue said.


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