The Minister of Budget and Economic planning, Senator Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, has urged the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to maximally use its capacity to generate more investments in Agriculture, in the country.
Senator Bagudu gave this charge today, in Abuja, when the high level mission of IFAD, paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja.

Bagudu pointed out that over the years, IFAD had been investing and empowering small scale farmers and producers with emphasis on those who were mostly at risk, to ensure inclusiveness. He also added that they had invested in technology, administration, finance planning and human resource, all aimed at optimizing corporate effectiveness and efficiency to tackle administrative bureaucracy.

He said that the current administration was committed to implementing a multi-faceted approach that combines sustainable agriculture practices, climates smart technology and social protection programmes.

Bagudu explained that ” we believe it represents both an opportunity and challenge today because of exchange rate devaluation. Our food is relatively cheaper for most West African and some central African countries to buy. So, that calls for us to respond and do more for our own domestic needs as well as be able to support other countries whose food system are not elastic as ours”.

He appreciated IFAD for their support over the years and applauded them for the LIFE project in Delta State. He said the Budget and Economic Planning Ministry is a coordinating Ministry for Federal and State levels of government while assuring the team that the report of IFAD’s visit would be shared to States via community of practices where all the stakeholders would meet.

In his remarks, the Associate Vice President, Program Management Department IFAD, Dr. Donal Brown, said he was very impressed with the commitment of the Federal in their effort towards food security, agriculture and the implementation of Food Systems Transformation Pathway, in the country.

He said that Nigeria was one of their strongest partners and also one of their biggest programme, (the Food Systems Transformation Pathways) therefore IFAD needed to engage with the current administration to review the IFAD replenishment process.

He also said that IFAD was committed to supporting the Federal government in every possible way and hoped that the government could do more on Value Change Development Project which had to do with food efficiency and financial management. This, according to him, was however related to the capacity of the programme in the financial management unit.

Brown submitted that the visit was part of their advocacy to line Ministries like Federal Ministry of Agriculture as an oversight responsibility to give them a sense of purpose

Julie Osagie-Jacobs
Director (Information)
15th March, 2024