The Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), Nigeria has disclosed that as a PAN African institution, it is working with government at both states and Federal levels through its state capability as well as policy and advocacy units to increase income of smallholder farmers.
This, it said, is working within the existing agricultural policies of the federal and concerned state governments.
Programme Officer, Policy and Partnerships, AGRA Nigeria, Dr Thomas Arokoyo who made this known to journalists in an interview said the policies are geared towards increasing the income of small holder farmers, enhancing food security as well as improving their livelihood in a socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable manner.
Arokoyo said AGRA is working with the government to strengthen execution capacity while enhancing accountability systems and enabling an environment for increased public and private sector investment.
In the current Strategy, he said AGRA has supported the enactment of three laws to include; the National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC) Act, 2019, Fertilizer Quality Control Act, 2019 and Plant Variety Protection Act 2021.
“These are laws to support Agricultural Transformation in Nigeria to unbundle the hidden wealth in Agriculture for the full benefit of Nigerians at all levels both now and the future.
In addition to these laws, AGRA supported the development of the Nigerian Agricultural investment Plan (NAIP) II based on the Agriculture Promotion Policy (APP) or Green Alternative, support for the Biennial Review (BR) Process, support for the development of a New Agriculture Extension Service System, development of an Institutional Capacity Strengthening Plan”.
In the pipeline, he said are supports for an improvement in the budget process for an improved capacity for judicious fund utilization to engender an increase in the national budget allocation to agriculture in line with the Malabo declaration of AU-NEPAD and CAADP that requires African countries to allocate at least 10 percent of their annual budget to agriculture.
This is also to support the federal strategic and food reserve department for stored Commodity inventory control and improved monitoring system for the unit and support for the enactment of the Food safety law”, he said.
At the state level, he added that AGRA is working through the Kaduna and Niger State governments to produce agriculture development policy, States’ Agricultural Development Plans, Agricultural Sector coordination system, establishment of E-Library for monitoring and evaluation unit of the State ministry of Agriculture.
Others include, “Capacity building for Kaduna and Niger States’ Ministries of Agriculture to improve the planning and coordination capacity of these states as well as flagship development.
“In terms of partnerships, AGRA works with various types of partners such as the Private sectors, other development organizations, NGOs/CSOs, farmers’ groups, research Institutions to catalyse the desired innovative change in the agricultural space through the smallholder farmers.
Speaking further, he said a current partnership with the government relating to agribusiness, small and medium entrepreneurs and smallholder farmers which is the flagship grant in Kaduna State called Boosting Agricultural Grains and Services (BAGS).
“This partnership with Kaduna state helps to crowd in investors for various agricultural value chains for which the state has comparative advantage in producing.
“This is to boost the potential of the state in agribusiness development and enhance maximum benefit to the small Holder farmers while improving the food security of the state.
“Since it includes some elements of livestock development, especially Dairy production, this will also help to significantly reduce the farmer and herder clashes that is so common and often threatens the peace and prosperity of the state”, he added.
AGRA partners with Nigerian government On Agric Policies