By Olawale Ayeni, Abuja.
The African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa`s Development (AUDA-NEPAD), is set to commence the implementation of empowering smallholder farmers in Nigeria, with free access to farm inputs.
The National Coordinator AUDA-NEPAD, Gloria Akobundu, stated this yesterday in Abuja during the virtual inauguration of the National Steering Committee on strategy to execute the project.
Akobundu, said the project would accommodate 80 per cent of local farmers across the country.
She noted that the committee is tasked to look into need 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, which I shall be presenting for inauguration in the course of this meeting today, “ she said.
On his parts, Chief Executive Officer, AUDA-NEPAD Continental,Ibrahim Mayaki, appreciated Akobundu for constantly pushing AUDA-NEPAD towards laudable progress in Nigeria, adding that the agency is making pragmatic progress being supported by solid theoretical framework.
Mayaki also stated that AUDU-NEPAD is established body by AU for developmental purposes in Africa for the integration of prosperous and peaceful Africa driven by its own citizens and is representing a dynamic force in the international arena.
He enumerated some of the key intervention programmes of the agency in Africa such as security, addressing boundary disputes, energy, climate change, food security among others.
The CEO expressed optimism that with the initiative to involve the local farmers by AUDA-NEPAD`S programme, it would go a long way to address food security Nigeria after the COVID-19 effects.
In his remarks, Governor of Kwara state, Abdulraham Abdulrazaq, who is the chairman of the steering committee in his contribution, said the initiative by AUDA-NEPAD was a turning point for development in the history of Africa and Nigeria in particular.
Abdulrazaq gave assurance that the committee would commence work immediately to ensure the execution of the projects in Nigeria.