The Federal Government has revealed plans to join the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) Hand-in-Hand initiative.
The initiative is a country-led one, targeted at achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1 and 2 (eradicating poverty, and hunger and all forms of malnutrition), via accelerated agricultural transformation and rural development.
Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono declared the country’s interest in the initiative when FAO Country Representative, Fred Kafeero, paid him a courtesy visit last Thursday.
In a statement released by FAO National Communication Officer, David Tsokar, on Monday, Nanono noted that the initiative would address the issue of flooding and transportation of foodstuffs.
The Minister while lauding the initiative, also said that it would address issues pertaining to land resources and use.
The initiative, he added, coincides with his administration’s drive to address the challenges bedeviling food security.
In his words: “Despite the plethora of challenges that have threatened food security in the country, the current administration is focused on empowering the rural people, through modern food and agricultural systems that emphasize a value chain approach to feed its people and create jobs.”
He, however, directed that a letter indicating Nigeria’s interest in the initiative be drafted.
On his part, Kafeero noted that the initiative would open up investment opportunities in addition to the pre-stated benefits of achieving food security and economic progress.
He said, “The initiative helps countries to develop independent investment plans to close food gaps, end malnutrition, support economic development and reduce environmental impacts with concrete evidence.
“All of which will lead to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals particularly goals number one and two on poverty eradication and ending hunger.”
Meanwhile, Nanono nominated a team from the Ministry, to discuss relevant data assembling with officials from the FAO and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).