By Oluwole Francis
In line with its mandates to promote economic development and eradicate poverty, African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD) Nigeria, in collaboration with its Continental office is organising a 2-day Summit Technical Roundtable engagement.
The Summit would be held on the 8th -9th December,2020 at Sheraton Hotel, Abuja to flag off `AUDA-NEPAD Initiative to Strengthen Small Holder Farmers amid COVID-19 pandemic’ for selected pilot states in the Six geo-political zones.
Princess Gloria Akobundu, National Coordinator, AUDA-NEPAD Nigeria, received the Continental Technical Team in her office on Tuesday before the team commenced field inspection in some of the pilot states ahead of the summit.
According to Akobundu, the programme will focus on value addition to farming process and create wealth at the grassroots.
“Our mothers, fathers and youths are working tirelessly on farms as can be seen in the availability of local crops in the market, but there is urgent need to improve productivity.
“This initiative include skills acquisition to farmers on use of modern tools, climate evaluation that will identify commercially viable crops in various parts of the country.
“It will also train farmers on crop preservation and curb wastages, while also provide platform for cordial relations between farmers and off takers”, she said.
Akobundu added that State Governors and their representatives were among critical stakeholders that would work with AUDA-NEPAD to ensure success of the initiative.
She called for cooperation of all stakeholders so that Nigeria could achieve food sufficient and feed her over 200 million population with all the food it requires
The Continental Technical Team reiterated importance of Nigeria’s food sufficiency to Africa, adding that Nigerian has the potentials to make the best and benefit from the programme.
The team was led by Mr. Diakhite Mamadou, Head of Food Security, of AUDA-NEPAD Continental, supported by Ambassador Diallo Amadou of Great Green wall Initiative and Benjamin Uche of AUDA-NEPAD Continental.
The initiative is a programme of AUDA-NEPAD Continental to mitigate impact of COVID-19 pandemic among African nations and Nigeria had put in place the required National project Steering Committee (NPSC), chaired by Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq of Kwara State.
During the summit/ technical engagement, the team would brainstorm with stakeholders and individual state would be expected to make presentations on its potentials, provide evidence of suitable land and relevant manpower to drive the projects, among others.