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FG shifts focus to boosting agriculture investment after food prices hike

By Idowu Abdullahi

President Muhammadu Buhari has reaffirmed the commitment of the Federal Government to attaining national food security through increased investment in the agricultural sector to achieve food suffiency across the country in bridging the hike in food prices.

He added the move had become imperative in line with his administration’s commitment to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty, noting that more initiatives would also be explored in achieving food security despite the insecurity challenges.

The president who spoke in New York while addressing participants at the Food Systems Summit as part of the High Level meetings of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, noted that Nigeria had developed a food system focused development agenda that would guide his administration’s efforts in realising the desired objective.

According to him, the developmental agenda prioritizes healthy diets and affordable nutrition, inclusive, efficient, resilient, and sustainable, which will contribute to rebuilding our economy, creating jobs and spurring growth across sectors while sustaining our ecosystems.

The Nigerian leader said that the plan was the outcome of a wide range stakeholder-engagement geared towards a better understanding of their food systems, experiences and needs.

“Following the recommendations from the dialogues and our plan to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within a decade, Nigeria is committed to: investing in food security and nutrition knowledge dissemination, skills’ development, and information management systems to enhance agricultural productivity; building sustainable, responsive, and inclusive food systems; enhancing the productivity of smallholder farmers and empowering women and youths for greater access to food production; while strengthening climate mitigation strategies and conflict early warning systems that will reduce the many stresses and shocks to our food systems.”

Furthermore, the president commended the initiative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for convening the Summit, calling it “a bold step towards achieving the 2030 global development Agenda at a time COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant consequences are threatening progress.”

He stressed that as Nigeria works “to transform our food systems and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda, we hope to learn from, and collaborate with Member States that have grappled or are grappling with food systems concerns similar to ours. We especially support the emerging coalitions of actions and sustainable food systems,” he added.

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