Suzan Nwachukwu, Abuja
A coalition of civil society organisations under the auspices of Voices for Food Security (VFS) has commended the present administration on its recent policy thrust in the agricultural sector that has seen it contributing to over 28 per cent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.
At the re-launch of VFS to strengthen its campaign on advocacy for issues on food security and production in Nigeria, President, National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS), and Secretary of the coalition, Mr Ken Ukaoha said over 70 per cent of Nigerian workforce population are engaged in small scale farming little or no voice that could be effectively heard. A challenge he said have rather reduced the Nigerian small scale farmers to merely policy recipients.
According to him, VFS intends to continually engage the government on pro-poor policies that affect farmers and build capacities for small scale farmers.
“We want create a movement of a group of agriculture coalitions to give voices to small scale farmers, most of whom are women and also to advocate for increased investments in agriculture by both state and non-state actors. We want to strengthen network of civil societies that create awareness through public campaign for policy change that enhance food production and strengthen food reserve system.
“We want to create space for small scale farmers participation in decision making by building their capacity, advocating for increased production and carrying out public campaign for improved agricultural policies,” he said.
He said the re-launch campaign is to strongly support the Government in all her effort to develop the agricultural sector; particularly, the strategic programs aimed at galvanizing investment in the sector such as the anchor borrower scheme, youth in agriculture; as well as fighting corruption in the sector.