VICTOR Adejoh Deputy Country Director, Synergos Nigeria, an NGO, says it has started implementation of Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) project to stimulate food production among smallholder farmers in Kaduna State.
Adejoh made this known on Monday in Kaduna at a meeting with officials of the State Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry with stakeholders drawn from various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
He said that Synergos was working for the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Kaduna State “to embark on the partnership through the implementation of AGRA project.“
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that AGRA is working in Niger and Kaduna on a two-year project focusing on enhancing value chain in maize, rice and cassava in the states.
In Kaduna State, the two-year project, from 2019 to 2021, is aimed at enhancing planning and budgeting, coordination, monitoring and evaluation.
It is being implemented through AGRA’s 300,000 dollars grant to the agriculture sector in Kaduna State.
The project is expected to stimulate maize production for more than 800,000 smallholder farmers across the state within the two years.
“The purpose of this project is to strengthen the capacity of the staffers of the Kaduna State Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to increase food security for smallholder farmers through institutional strengthening that will enhance programme delivery.
“This project seeks to address certain gaps from empirical evidence, available data and results of researches conducted by AGRA and Kaduna State Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.
“We have identified areas for sustainable agricultural performance. They include working policy, certain gaps have been identified and this project seeks to address those gaps,“ Adejoh said.
According to him, Synergos has also identified gaps with coordination and the need to integrate all critical stakeholders in the agricultural sector.
“Looking at institutional gaps, the project seeks to connect all departments and agencies including ministries working in the agriculture sector.“
Adejoh said that the project was successful because of the theory of change which was developed by AGRA to ensure that the it delivered on its objectives.
“Moving from downward upward, AGRA seeks to contribute to development of inclusive agricultural system.
“AGRA seeks policy formulation and implementation that will bring about transformation in the agriculture sector in Kaduna state.
“AGRA also seeks to coordinate with agriculture business and increase budget performance in the sector in Kaduna State.
“We will establish a data bank for the ministry of agriculture and forestry.
“We will engage technical assistance on monitoring and evaluation and do portfolios review to ensure that all departments and agencies are working effectively.
“The overall objective includes strengthening the planning, coordination and deliberate capability of the ministry of agriculture and forestry in Kaduna State.
“It is in line with ongoing strategy reforms to drive sustainable transformation in the agricultural sector in Kaduna.
“We have put a lot of machinery in motion, what we are here to do is to support this transformation to a level that shows the impact of the work you are already doing in the ministry.
“The project will launch a data bank and e-license and connect all departments within the ministry such that your data can be uploaded,“ Adejoh said.
Dr Kassim Abdulkadir, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry said that the state government sought the support of AGRA after identifying various challenges it faced in implementing programmes that would enhance farmers’ productivity.
Abdulkadir said that the state government had worked tirelessly to transform its agriculture sector into agribusiness that would attract local and foreign investments.
He said that strengthening the sector would also boost employment opportunities for women and youths as well as increase food security for the teeming population of the state.
According to him, “we had to seek for the support of AGRA to strengthen the capacity of staff of the ministry which is the most important aspect of the challenges.”
“AGRA decided to give us over 300,000 dollars as grant not as loan to develop the capacity of staff of the sector in terms of planning and budgeting, coordination and monitoring and evaluation to stimulate farmers’ production.’’
Officials of the Ministries of Commerce and Industry, Planning and Budget Commission, Community and Rural Development, Women Affairs, Local Government Affairs and Water Resources attended the event.
– June 10, 2019 @ 20:07 GMT |