By Ruth Tene Natsa, Abuja
Five state governors in Nigeria have endorsed a peer advisory mechanism (PAM) to enable them monitor the implementation of their state-grown agricultural plans with a view to ending hunger by 2030.
The peer advisory mechanism is a brainchild of the Nigeria Zero Hunger Forum (NZHF) that is aimed at reviewing, monitoring, and advising states in Nigeria on the ways and means by which the states themselves, using available resources, can achieve zero hunger by 2030.
The five pilot states which gave their endorsements include Benue, Borno, Ebonyi, Ogun and Sokoto states.
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Goodwill Ambassador, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who is chairing the NZHF said, “More states will be involved as we make progress”.
According to a communique issued at the end of the maiden edition of the NZHF in Makurdi and made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday, “Members of the NZHF which cut across the private sector, government and development partners agreed to hold its advisory meetings on quarterly basis across the states.”
The Forum also adopted a template for its future advisory meetings: The first day should be dedicated to a welcome address by the state followed by presentations of what is going on in the host state related to achieving zero hunger (challenges, successes, and lessons learnt). The next day, should be dedicated to field visits to engage with large, medium, and small scale farmer groups; medium and large scale agriculture related industries such as food and feed processors, and fertiliser blending factories, and programmes to improve the health and nutrition of infants and children. The day should end with reflections of the day and a communique.
IITA Deputy Director General for Partnerships for Delivery, Dr Kenton Dashiell, who also manages the secretariat of the NZHF at IITA, explained that the peer advisory mechanism of the NZHF would encourage states to keep focus to the commitment they made towards agriculture so that they could by themselves achieve their set targets.
He commended the maiden meeting in Benue State, noting that the state has the capacity to feed the country if its agricultural potential was fully tapped.