Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Muhammad Sabo Nanonoh has praised the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) for the provision of a $360-million grant for agricultural advancement in Nigeria.
The minister made this known at a gathering of the combined National Steering Committees to review and approve the 2021 Annual Work Plan and Budget for three IFAD-assisted projects.
The IFAD is an international financial institution and specialized agency of the United Nations committed to empowering rural communities in order to improve nutrition and increase income in rural areas of developing countries.
Nanono emphasized that the IFAD’s assistance projects aligned with both the policy and mandate of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, adding that collaboration and partnership with the international organization had yielded positive results in the development of agriculture in Nigeria.
He indicated that the award funds would be put to use in rural communities across the country where they would benefit more than 250,000 vulnerable smallholder farmers.
The minister urged members of the steering committees to work hard in view of the success of the IFAD’s intervention framework, asking them to consider and approve the Annual Work Plan and Budget for 2021.
Nanono further charged committee members to create and foster a forum for cooperation between projects with relevant geographical coverage in agriculture, telling them that nothing could be more important to Nigeria’s future than the task assigned to the Ministry of Agriculture and thus also to the steering committees.
Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture Earnest Umakhihe reiterated the ministry’s ongoing commitment to support the projects at all times, noting that IFAD-funded projects had helped in several ways to procure and distribute agricultural inputs for wet and dry season farming to about 30,000 vulnerable farmers across the country.