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Agriculture stakeholders and analysts have voiced their concerns over Nigeria’s failure to effectively implement the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), also known as the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth, initiated to ensure food security across the African continent in 2025.
The group called for political leadership and commitment from the federal government to guarantee the success of the intra-continental project, highlighted their thoughts during the 2nd Africa Union Biennial Review and Agriculture Joint Sector Review Report organised by Fahimta Women and Youth Development Initiative (FAWOYDI) in collaboration with ActionAid Nigeria, held in Bauchi State.
In a presentation titled “Nigerian Current Biennial Review Score, processes, challenges and Solution”, Tosin Suberun, programme officer, FAWOYDI, stressed that Nigeria would need strong commitment through implementation of the Malabo agreement by African governments for allocation of a minimum of 10 per cent annual budget to Agriculture if the country was to make any meaningful impact on the sector.
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Commenting on Nigeria’s agriculture scorecard on the implementation of the Malabo agreement which was presented at the African Union summit in February 2020, Suberun said Nigeria’s 5.18 score is lower than the benchmark of 6.66 and therefore, not on track in achieving the seven Malabo commitments by 2025.
“Although we made significant improvement relative to the 2017 score by 52 per cent, there are many challenges still hindering the implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme in the country” he noted.
The most notable challenges affecting Nigeria’s performance, according to him, include non-availability of time series data to effectively track progress, inability to conduct agricultural census/Surveys, inadequate budgetary allocation and releases for statistical activities, inadequate public expenditure in agriculture to meet the CAADP Malabo target amongst others.
He suggested that a direct budget line targeting smallholder women farmers should be included in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies ( MDAs) budget while the ministry of agriculture needs to enhance its oversight functions and mandate over the management of public funds in the agriculture sector to guarantee greater value for money.
The Malabo declaration, held in Malabo, capital city of Equatorial Guinea, was initiated in 2014 by the national leaders of the African Union with the goal of transforming Africa’s agriculture to bolster food production, shared prosperity and improved livelihoods through harnessing opportunities for inclusive growth and sustainable development, particularly in the agriculture sector.
The declaration birthed the adoption of the Comprehensive Africa Development Programme committed to suppressing hunger by 2025 through an improvement of the continent’s agriculture sector.