ABUJA – The Senate on Wednesday approved the establishment of the National Agricultural Development Fund to provide finance to support strategic aspects of Nigeria’s agricultural development.
This followed a clause-by-clause consideration of the report of its Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.
Presenting the report before the Committee of the Whole, the Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu explained that the Bill seeks to promote and provide for finance to support agriculture development in the country in order to ensure food production and food security in Nigeria.
The legislation would also provide finance for the implementation of policies and to strengthen agricultural institutions.
The Committee Chairman, Adamu also revealed that the Bill would encourage donor institutions to provide funding for the agriculture sector to ensure increased food production.”
This is as he noted that it was already acknowledged that the major bane of agricultural sector in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa was inadequate funding.
“To date, Nigeria is yet to fully implement the 2003 Maputo declaration on Agriculture requiring states, parties to allocate ten per cent of its national budget for agricultural development.
“If this was done, agriculture research and development, food production and food security would have witnessed a major leap.”
He said that the Bill therefore showed that the availability of the fund would meet these requirements among others.
“With government’s commitment to make agriculture the mainstay of our economy, it is only right to make enabling laws for the purpose of providing sustainable funding for agriculture development in Nigeria.”
This, he said would be to take into consideration the critical need to address food production and food security, job creation and international competitiveness in agriculture sector in Nigeria.
In his remarks, President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan said with the passage of the Bill, “it is important it gets the President’s signature”.
He said that the establishment of the National Agricultural Development Fund would transform the Nigerian economy and ensure job creation.