To boost agricultural productivity and achieve proposed food security, the Nigerian Senate has urged the executive to allocate a minimum of 10% of the total annual budget revenue to agricultural production.
Speaking during the joint budget defence session of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security in Abuja, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture Production, Services, and Rural Development, Sen. Salihu Mustapha, made his point known.
Mustapha expressed concern about the challenges in the agricultural sector, noting that the sector still contributes over 20% to the nation’s GDP from the non-oil sector, despite the obstacles faced.
He lamented that the budget allocation to the sector falls short of the committed 10% outlined in the Maputo Declaration.
“The agricultural sector has the largest potential to lead millions of Nigerians out of poverty and provide the much-needed food security. It is, therefore, imperative that the sector should be given the utmost priority in national economic policies and future budgets.
“I, therefore, call on the executive to exercise the political will to allocate at least 10% of the national budgets and revenues to the agriculture sector.”
Responding to this, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Sen. Abubakar Kyari, also expressed concern about insufficient budgetary allocations for crucial projects and programs aimed at boosting national agricultural production.
He noted that less than 2% of the national budget is allocated to agriculture, falling significantly short of the agreed-upon 10% outlined in the Maputo Declaration by Africa Heads of State.
Furthermore, Kyari lamented the inadequate overhead costs allocation, hindering the ministry’s operational capabilities.
He also pointed out that the impact of climate change and unprecedented flooding in various parts of the country has significantly disrupted agricultural activities in many agrarian communities.