States, LGAs urged to dedicate 5% of budgets to agriculture

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Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri

The federal government has asked states and local governments to invest at least five percent of their budget in agriculture to achieve zero hunger by 2030.

Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, appealed to a symposium to celebrate World Food Day 2018 in Abuja on Thursday.

Lokpobiri noted that the federal government requires governments and stakeholders to adequately adhere to the 2030 goal.

According to him, zero hunger is capable and possible.

The minister noted that the federal government, in order to reduce hunger, increased its budget allocations to the Nigerian Agricultural Council (NASC), federal universities of agriculture and research institutes to achieve the goal.

“If we can achieve self-sufficiency in Nigeria, we would solve the problems of hunger and malnutrition in Africa.

“We need to get support from states and local governments to achieve zero hunger.

“If all states invest five percent of their budgets in agriculture, we will achieve food security.

"Every government should be involved in this food revolution," Lockpobiri said.

In addition, Mr. Sufyan Koroma, a country spokesman for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said that World Food Day aims to engage stakeholders in raising awareness about the importance of food security, nutrition and sustainable and sustainable agriculture.

He appealed to the government to create a favorable investment environment and provide equal opportunities and to accept legal and non-legally binding treaties in order to achieve the goal of “zero hunger”.

“The private sector must commit to eliminating food waste, feedstock at the local level and be resource efficient.

“Be a food safety champion, promote social inclusion for women.”

“Farmers and small farmers should promote gender equality and the rational use of natural resources”, Koroma said.

In the lecture, Professor Ernest Ayedun, Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Abuja, called for political interventions that would strengthen the value chains of goods.

Ayedun said that the promotion of an effective marketing system through infrastructure and institutional development.

Another guest lecturer, Professor Johnson Onybe, National Agricultural Research and Liaison Service (NARLS), Zaria, called for the creation of an Agricultural Trust Fund (ATF).

He said that the fund would help develop the agricultural sector, adding that in order to use the fund, it is necessary to adopt proper monitoring and evaluation plan.

Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, Ms. Ene Obi, expressed regret at the growing decline in knowledge services in the country.

“As we think of zero hunger, we must remember our agricultural extension workers,” she said.

This year, World Food Day has its own theme "Our actions are our future: a world of zero hunger by 2030 is possible".

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