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Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Senator Mustapha advocates for National Summit on Agriculture - NaijaAgroNet

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The Chairman, Senate Committee on Agricultural Production, Services & Rural Development, Senator Saliu Mustapha has advocated for a National Summit on Agriculture, reports NaijaAgroNet.
Senator Mustapha advocates National Summit on Agriculture - NaijaAgroNet
Senator Mustapha, who represents Kwara Central Senatorial zone at the National Assembly, made this declaration at the opening ceremony of a two-day Parliamentary Retreat on Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) cum Biennial Review (BR) and Food Systems Transformation in Nigeria on Tuesday at Radisson Blu Ikeja, Lagos.

The Senator said, the National Summit on Agriculture will enable the legislators, for instance, to marshal out some of the prospective bills, and afford other arms of government to bring to the table their roles and challenges so as to factor a synergy that works for the improvement of the sector holistically, including non-state actors.

Also, he said that agriculture cannot be isolated profession because where there is no peace, produce will not be and farms will not be attended to, stressing that security is key sector and issue of interest towards achieving agricultural production under the Malabo Convention.

For him, the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), must be involved in the summit to enable examination of some critical areas including the security for farmers.

He lamented that in some states of the federation, people cannot go to farm because of lack of security and if the community cannot produce what they will eat, that is number one insecurity.

Senator Mustapha who was accompanied by some of the National Assembly including Hon. Mohammed Audu, representing Lau Ardokola and Karim Constituency at the green chamber, encouraged his colleagues to rally support for the National Summit on Agriculture to enable Nigeria meet up its 10% requirement as contained in the Malabo Declaration.

Agriculture, he said, is not just about putting food on the tables but a way of livelihood.

There are factors affecting agriculture like climate change and security and that was I said the NSA must be involved.

So, we must have another opportunity to discuss these issues in detail with all stakeholders in line with our budgets to achieve the 10% expected of every country including Nigeria.

This, he said, will pave the way for more research and improvement in agriculture sector.

He equally revealed that in other to streamline budget implementation, the 10th session of the National Assembly have issued a letter to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to explain what they did with the previous budgets so as to enable them know the focus areas desirous of attention.

This letter, he said, became necessary because MDAs could not be coming to NAS to ask for more money without showing the performance and indexes of performance.

MDAs, he said, must prioritize their needs beyond servicing staff emoluments when the research institutes and colleges are there wasting away and unable to meet up their capacities let alone their mandates.
Senator Mustapha advocates National Summit on Agriculture - NaijaAgroNet
"If we can’t make agriculture a means of livelihood. A business of its own that can generate money to fund certain projects,” he said, stressing that their oversights must be taken very seriously.

This, he said, would not take away government supports to needy sectors like agriculture in terms of subsidising certain things to support and improve food security to name a few.

Speaking earlier, Constance Okeke of the ActionAid International, pointed out that the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), under the African Union is Africa's policy framework for agricultural transformation, wealth creation, food security and nutrition security and economic growth.

The Biennial Review, she said, affords Nigeria and agriculture stakeholders to examine the implementation of the Malabo Declaration on accelerated agricultural growth and transformation for shared prosperity and improved livelihoods, so as to advance priority areas and processes.

The retreat was organised by stakeholders led by ActionAid and Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), was attended by the CAADP Non-State Actor Group, CNC, ONE, and Small Scale Women Farmers Organization in Nigeria (SWOFON) among others.

Remmy Nweke/DoP

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