With the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) by President Mohammadu Buhari, there is an urgent need for massive and unprecedented investment in the agriculture sector for domestic consumption, rural infrastructural development and export promotion for Nigeria to take advantage of the opportunity it offers.
This was part of the recommendations contained in a Communique issued at the end of the a 2 day Stakeholders Consultative Meeting on the 2020 Agriculture Budget organised by the ActiinAid Nigeria, Oxfam in Nigeria, One Campaign, CAADP Non State A tors Coalition, Ministry of Budget and National Planning and the Department of Agriculture and Water Ressources of the ECOWAS COMMISSION which took place in Lokoja, Kogi State on Wednesday.
The Communique which was read by Mallam Muhammed Lawal Shehu Permanent Secretary from Kebbi State also stated that the allocation made to CAADP in the Agriculture Budget should be released 100 percent to support Coordination of the Agriculture Sector and knowledge building on the CAADP/Malabo performance indicators.
They also recommended that the gain made by the sector MDAs should be sustained and improved upon in the 2020 agriculture budget, the GES should be retained, and the budget should be increase to address the inputs gaps experience by smallholder farmers, especially women.
It was also recommended that for 2020 and subsequent years, agriculture budget and other policymaking process, a strategy for involving and mainstreaming the concerns of smallholders farmers should be developed.
At the end of the meeting it was also recommended that since Women and Youths are not homogenous group, their budget lines should be separated to ease implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
Also that there should be a scale up of investment in types of public spending that has been shown by evidence to yield better economic outcomes. This includes support for smallholder farmers especially Women and Youths in Agriculture, Promotion and Development of Value chains, Agricultural Finance/Credit, Agricultural Insurance, Growth Enhancement Support Scheme, Livelihood, Farm Inputs, Extension Services, limate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture/Agroecology Mechanisation and many more.
Participants were drawn from various states across the country.