Journalism in the service of society

Nigeria invests $520b to support national food systems – Shettima

NIGERIA’S vice president Kashim Shettima, has revealed that Nigeria has committed $521 billion to support the country’s national food systems transformation to a higher performing, sustainable, and equitable level.

Shettima made the remarks while chairing a high-level discussion on the first day of the UN Food Systems Summit in Rome, Italy.

According to him, the monies came from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the African Development Bank (AFDB), and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

Shettima, who described IFAD as “magic makers,” said Nigeria’s partnership with the institution has enabled the country to roll on the value chain development programme.

“And the success story speaks for itself; it has empowered 100,000 small-scale farmers to get out of the poverty trap and 100,000 is by no means a small number. By linking them up with major international marketing firms like OLAM, which has a global turnover of $14.4 billion per annum, they have successfully lifted themselves and their families out of poverty,” he said.

The Vice President stated further that the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) and Special Agricultural Zones (SAPZ) represent a unique and concrete model of mobilising transformative investment to develop Nigeria’s food systems.

“It is truly a paradigm shift in agricultural financing and it is worthy of emulation in all developing nations across the world. I want to thank the Islamic Development Bank, the IFAD and the AFDB for their support, and like Oliver Twist, we have only six and we have 36 federating units.

“We want to replicate their success story in each of the 36 States of the Nigerian Federation. If Nigeria works, Africa works,” he added.

In attendance was the President of IFAD, Dr. Alvaro Lario; H.E. Muhammad Suleiman Al Jasser, President of Islamic Development Bank (IsDB); Vice President of AfDB, Mrs. Hassatau N’Sele; Vice President of OLAM International, Reji George; and Vice President, Commodity Alliance Forum (Representative of farmers), Ejim Lovelyn.

Declaring the Summit open, the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, commended the participating countries for their commitment to addressing the problems of hunger and malnutrition.

“This is a gathering about the food system. It is essentially to fulfil those basic human rights – the right to food. It is outrageous that people continue to suffer in the world of plenty,” said Guterres.

Shettima also had a bilateral meeting with the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni as both leaders discussed issues about the development of the two countries.

Comments are closed.

Naija Times