By Okon Okon
Abuja, Sept. 29, 2020 The African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD) is set to begin the implementation of a programme aimed at empowering small-holder farmers in Nigeria, an official said on Tuesday.
Ms Gloria Akobundu, the AUDA-NEPAD National Coordinator, disclosed this in Abuja during the virtual inauguration of the National Steering Committee on strategy to execute the project.
She said the programme would begin with free access to farm inputs, and the project would accommodate 80 per cent of local farmers across the country.
Naija247news recalled that AUDA-NEPAD had earlier planned to empower farmers in Nigeria as part of its mandate before the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic.
Akobundu listed some of the committee’s tasks.
These are looking into needs for identification of projects, active community involvement in the projects and sustainability of the programme by domesticating same in Federal Universities of Agriculture in the country.
“I am happy to note that we are now at the final process of implementing the programme in Nigeria.
“The final process will be driven by the national project steering committee,’’ she said.
Also speaking, Mr Ibrahim Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), AUDA-NEPAD Continental, appreciated Akobundu for constantly pushing AUDA-NEPAD towards laudable progress in Nigeria.
He added that the agency was making pragmatic progress in being supported by solid theoretical framework.
Mayaki noted that AUDA-NEPAD was established by the African Union (AU) for developmental purposes in Africa.
These are for the integration of a prosperous and peaceful Africa driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena.
He enumerated some of the key intervention programmes of the agency in Africa, such as in the area of security, addressing boundary disputes, energy, climate change, food security, among others.
Mayaki expressed optimism that with the initiative to involve the local farmers by AUDA-NEPAD, the programme would go a long way to address food insecurity in Nigeria after COVID-19.
Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara, who is the steering committee’s chairman, in his contribution, said the AUDA-NEPAD initiative was a turning point for development in the history of Nigeria Africa.
AbdulRazaq assured that the committee would commence work immediately to ensure the execution of the projects in Nigeria.