NIGERIA – The Federal Government through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, has appealed to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to release USD 5 million for the implementation of key projects aimed at transforming the agricultural landscape.

Abubakar Kyari, Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, made the appeal during a meeting with Donal Brown, IFAD’s Associate Vice President, held in Abuja.

Kyari emphasized the government’s commitment to IFAD’s vision, particularly in harnessing innovation to drive agricultural transformation.

He highlighted the significance of initiatives such as the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise – Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) and the Value Chain Development Program (VCDP) in advancing Nigeria’s agricultural sector.

“It is my strong belief that some of the next steps in the implementation of LIFE-ND…will be given accelerated attention,” Kyari stated, expressing the need for additional financing and an extension of existing programs. He also urged for urgent support towards climate change adaptation under VCDP.

Furthermore, Kyari announced the government’s plans to organize an agriculture and food security summit later in the year.

This summit aims to foster collaboration among various stakeholders to drive innovation and technology adoption for inclusive agri-food system transformation and smallholder farmers’ empowerment.

Donal Brown, IFAD’s Associate Vice President, affirmed the organization’s commitment to strengthening its partnership with Nigeria and supporting the country’s agricultural agenda.

He acknowledged the positive impact of ongoing projects like LIFE-ND and VCDP, while also highlighting the importance of addressing efficiency and performance issues for optimal project outcomes.

“I hear very good things about the life project…and I am supportive of additional financing for the second phase…But I hear some issues about how we can improve the efficiency and the performance of [VCDP],” Brown remarked, underscoring the need to address operational challenges before considering project extensions.

The collaboration between the Federal Government and IFAD underscores a shared commitment to driving agricultural innovation, enhancing food security, and empowering rural communities.

 With targeted investments and strategic partnerships, both entities aim to catalyze sustainable growth across Nigeria’s agricultural value chains.

As discussions progress, stakeholders remain hopeful that IFAD’s support will pave the way for enhanced project performance, increased financing opportunities, and ultimately, positive impacts on the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and rural communities nationwide.

For all the latest fresh produce industry news updates from Africa, the Middle East, and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.