The Federal Government has taken significant steps towards bolstering agricultural productivity and enhancing food security by inaugurating the Agricultural Technical Committee (ATWC) and forging partnerships with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to accelerate agro-industrial development.
Chaired by Mr. Temitope Fashedemi, the permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, the inauguration ceremony of the ATWC was recently held in Abuja.
However, Fashedemi underscored the committee’s pivotal role in formulating strategies to bolster agricultural support and tackle climate change adaptation. Comprising members from various ministries and agencies, the ATWC aims to address challenges facing the agricultural sector and foster sustainable practices.
During the inauguration, Fashedemi urged committee members to consider their responsibilities as a national duty and leverage their expertise to drive impactful initiatives. Discussions centered on developing a comprehensive framework to enhance agricultural interventions, collaborating with governmental and non-governmental entities to secure financial resources, and coordinating with relevant departments to assess farmers’ needs and provide essential support.
In a parallel effort to strengthen the agricultural landscape, a delegation led by Prof. Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, Senior Special Adviser on Industrialization to the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), visited the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security. The purpose of their visit was to expedite the implementation of the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) programme initiated in Nigeria in April 2019.
Oyelaran-Oyeyinka highlighted the SAPZ programme’s objectives, including increasing household incomes, fostering job creation – particularly for youth and women – and enhancing food nutrition security. The programme, slated for implementation in seven states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), aligns with the government’s vision of inclusive and sustainable agro-industrial development.
Responding to the delegation, Fashedemi emphasized the ministry’s role as the executing agency for the SAPZ programme under AfDB’s auspices since September 2023. He urged the AfDB delegation to provide feasibility studies to support the programme’s implementation effectively.
The collaborative efforts between the government and AfDB signify a concerted commitment to revitalizing the agricultural sector and fostering sustainable development. With a focus on inclusive growth and environmental stewardship, these initiatives hold promise for transforming Nigeria’s agricultural landscape and driving socio-economic progress.