The agricultural stakeholders, drawn from government ministries, departments and agencies, institutes, organizations, associations and bodies of farmers, has appealed to the governments at all levels to give priority to agriculture by committing 10 per cent of their yearly budget to the sector.
This was made known during a consultative meeting that was held in Lagos, ahead of the call for budget circulars for the 2023 Agriculture sector budget, in order to seek ways to effect increase of the national budget from the current abysmal 1.7 to 10 per cent recommended at the Malabo Declaration.
The Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods held at Equatorial Guinea in June 2014, confirmed that agriculture is a critical policy initiative for African economic growth and poverty reduction.
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The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Bima Muhammad Enagi, disclosed that the sector remains the largest contributor to the country’s GDP in the second quarter of 2022 with 23.3 per cent as against ones from trade (16.8 per cent), telecommunication (15 per cent), manufacturing (8.7 per cent) and the oil and gas sector (6.3 per cent).
“As approved by the 44th National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development (NCARD), the three tiers of government should commit 10 per cent of their yearly budget to the agriculture sector to meet the Maputo/Malabo Declaration, required to support, at least, six per cent growth rate for the sector.” Enagi said
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The Chief Executive Officer of Green Sahara Farms, Suleiman Dikwa, expressed optimism that the upward review of the budget would make more funds available in the sector, which is supposed to be better for the system, provided the operations of agric. Policy are redesigned to focus on key areas that provide real impact for people.