U.S. votes $12.5m for food security in Nigeria

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The Feed the Future, an initiative of the US government on global hunger and food security, has allocated 12.5 million dollars for food security in Nigeria.

This in an interview with Nigeria's news agency (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja was announced by Dr. George Mavrotas, the head of the IFPRI office in Nigeria.

Mavrotas, who is also the head of the Food for the Future project under the Nigeria Agricultural Policy Project, said the fund, which was launched in 2016, will cover various agricultural and food security programs in Nigeria for the next five years.

The Agricultural Policy Project of Nigeria aims to meet research and policy capacity-building needs and ensure that Nigerian institutions are equipped to respond effectively to the capacity, knowledge and information needs of politicians.

He explained that this initiative is a joint effort of the Michigan State University (MSU), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the Nigeria Support Program (NSSP), funded by USAID-Nigeria.

Mavrotas said that this initiative has three main objectives, which include strengthening national capacity for a more efficient process of evidence-based analysis in agriculture.

Others should encourage and stimulate informed policy dialogue among stakeholders and support government efforts to increase their capacity to plan and conduct effective research and policy analysis.

He noted that the project will involve three components that will increase the strategic potential of Nigeria; fill knowledge gaps in the political process and improve the process of political dialogue to achieve its goals.

The project leader said that the project uses a robust approach for skills development, training and institutional capacity to meet the needs for policy analysis by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), IFPRI and MSU.

He added that these components would also include the analysis of collaborative policy-based research to strengthen local capacity and dialogue through policy research and analysis.

Mavrotas, however, added that this component will ensure that the project policy influences the increase and focused communication with the policy.

He said that this step became an imperative, as the policy of agricultural development in Nigeria developed, and the ability to develop and implement policies improved overtime.

However, Mavrotas noted that shortcomings in human and institutional capacity continue to exist, and this limits the capacity to support FMARD's efforts in implementing policies and programs (NANs)

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