They further advised that such intervention should be outside the 2023 agricultural budget.
Stakeholders, the Small-Scale Women Farmers Organization of Nigeria (SWOFON) and the Coalition of Non-State Actors (CNC) of the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program (CAADP), made the call at a press conference in Abuja.
They noted that 21 states and FCT required urgent assistance in food production according to the Cadre Harmony report released in March.
According to the organizations, the states are Abia, Adamawa, Bauchi State, Benue, Borno, Cross-River, Edo, Enugu State, Gombe State, Jigawa, Kaduna State, Kano State, Katsina State, Kebbi, Lagos, Niger, Plateau, Taraba , Sokoto State, Yobe and Zamfara.
“The Cadre Harmony report published in March, after the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian war, indicates that 21 states and FCT require urgent assistance between March and May.
Mr. Azubuike Nwokoye, Food and Agriculture Program Manager, ActionAid Nigeria, said conscious efforts must be made to provide strategic interventions focused on resilience and humanitarian assistance in areas where it is needed.
Nwokoye urged the government to absorb excess agricultural products across the country for storage to prevent post-harvest losses.
He noted that post-harvest losses reached 3.5 trillion naira annually and he said were caused by banditry, clashes between farmers and herders, and flooding across the country.
“The analysis focused on the 2023 budget aims to analyze how the Nigerian agricultural sector is financed and positioned for growth and job creation, among others.
“In seven years, the sector’s budget has not exceeded two percent of the total budget.
“However, empirical evidence has shown that the greater the resources committed to a sector, the greater the output in terms of social benefit to society.
“Since the agricultural sector is adjudged as the sector with the potential to transform the economy and employ youth in abundance, adequate funding for it must be prioritized in the national budget,” he said.
Ms. Nnenna Chukwu, Secretary of SWOFON, FCT, noted that the federal and state governments should urgently complete the ongoing construction of dams, build new ones and water catchments across the country for agricultural use.
He advised that existing dams should run at full capacity for agriculture throughout the year to ensure food security.
Furthermore, Mr. Andrew Mamedu, Director of Resource Mobilization and Innovation, described the budgetary allocation to agriculture as low, considering the need for food supply for the nation’s abundant population.
Source Credit: NAN