FG inaugurates Agricultural Technical Working Committee to support farmers, boost development

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By Palma Ileye

In line with Mr. President’s Renewed Hope Agenda in Agriculture and Food Security, the Federal Government has inaugurated an Agricultural Technical Working Committee, ATWC, to support farmers with finance and increase local food production.

According to FMAFS press release, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Mr. Temitope Peter Fashedemi made this disclosure during the inauguration of the committee in Abuja.

Fashedemi pointed out that the Committee was saddled with the responsibility amongst others to see to the reduction of food prices and end hunger in the country saying that the committee Members were drawn from different departments and agencies under the Ministry with the Permanent Secretary as Chairman and Managing Director Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural lending, NIRSAL, as Vice Chairman.

The Permanent Secretary charged the Committee to see the task as clarion call to National duty and deploy their vast experiences.

Similarly, there were deliberations and contributions by members as to how to chart a course and achieve success at the end of the day.

The Agricultural Technical Working Committee, ATWC, was tasked with following terms of reference; Develop a framework/ strategy that will improve support and interventions to agriculture and climate change adaptation; Liaise with other relevant government Agencies and privately funded bodies to generate funds for support of farmers; Liaise with the Department of Cooperatives of the Ministry for the needs assessment of registered farmers for assistance; liaise with the Federal Department of Agriculture of the Ministry to ascertain relevant inputs needed by the farmers amongst others.

In a similar vein, Managing Director, African Development Bank, Prof. Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka and his team, who came on a courtesy visit stated that the purpose of their visit was to fast track the Implementation of Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones, SAPZ, which started in April 2019 in Nigeria.

He added that the program’s goal was to increase household incomes, foster job creation in rural agricultural communities, especially for youth and women, and enhance food nutrition security.

He pointed out that the development objective was to support inclusive and sustainable agro-industrial development, noting that the program will be implemented in seven States (Cross River, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Ogun and Oyo) including FCT.

The Permanent Secretary, therefore, tasked the delegation from AFDB to come up with their feasibility studies.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security is the executing agency for the SAPZ program, which became effective in September 2023 under AFDB.