Delegates pledge support for Nigeria’s plans to domesticate Malabo Declaration
Delegates at the workshop, organised by AU Commission and New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) on Nigeria’s efforts to domesticate the commitments of the Malabo Declaration, have pledged support for the nation’s initiatives.
They promised to facilitate the fulfilment of the country’s initiatives, while speaking at the sidelines of the workshop in Abuja. Last week .
The delegates voiced their support for specific strategies that were aimed at accelerating Nigeria’s agricultural growth in order to improve the citizens’ living standards.
AU Heads of State and Government in 2014 adopted the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods.
As part of the commitments, the African leaders committed to ending hunger by 2025 via designed efforts to halve the current levels of post-harvest losses by the year 2025.
Dr Kehinde Makinde, the Nigeria Programme Officer, Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), said that the workshop was about Nigeria’s agricultural investment plans via the Federal Government’s agricultural policy.
“African countries committed to work with what we called Malabo Declaration, which essentially is to get Africa back on track in efforts to achieve food sufficiency and eliminate hunger among its people.
“African countries are bringing this idea into consideration by knowing the investment planning process that would make this dream possible. The workshop is simply on the domestication of the Malabo Declaration.
“We are looking for a better understanding of the Green Alternative Programme of the Federal Government of Nigeria by understanding what the investment components are, and how to get our roadmap into the implementation process.
“Nigeria is important in the AU commitment and the country is prominent in the process. Nigeria has some challenges in terms of attaining food sufficiency, particularly in certain farm produce like rice and wheat.
“But the country is self-sufficient in yam and cassava. Besides, Nigeria is the largest producer of cowpea in the world today. We will bring this together to aid our efforts to reduce rice importation,’’ he said.
Mr Ernest Ruzindaza, the Team Leader, Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), said that through the National Agriculture Investment Plan (NAIP) initiative, Nigeria should define a clear roadmap with clear time-bound deliverables for its agricultural plans.
He also said that the AU Commission would like to see appropriate coordination mechanisms and implementation capacity in place in order to provoke the agricultural transformation of the country.
On his part, Mr Bate Sylvester, Deputy Director, Planning Policy Coordination, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, said that no African country had been able to fully domesticate the Malabo Declaration, adding, however, that Nigeria was in the process of achieving it.
“Nigeria is in the progress of doing this; that is why this AU workshop is timely. CAADP is a regional intervention body which Nigeria has been a party to.
“We cannot tell you the level of our achievement with regard to the domestication of the Malabo Declaration at the moment but we on track,’’ he added.
NAN reports that the workshop, organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, AU Commission and NEPAD, aims at reviewing and refreshing the plans to make agriculture the centrepiece of Nigeria’s economic development agenda.
NAN also reports that the efforts will ensure that Nigeria’s NAIP is aligned with the commitments in the 2014 Malabo Declaration of the AU, which seeks to cut poverty rates in half by 2025 via agriculture-led economic growth.
The three-day workshop with the theme, “Domesticating Malabo Commitments into the Green Alternative/Agriculture Promotion Policy and its Investment Plan’’, involved various stakeholders who deliberated on the way forward.