The federal government will donate $15million to the International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD.
The amount which represents a 300 percent increase from the regular $5million that Nigeria usually contributes was increased after the 35th session of member states of the organisation in Rome. The session focused on meeting sustainable smallholder agriculture.
The Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Akinwumi Adesina claim that efforts are being made to ‘aggressively’ implement the “agricultural transformation action plan with specific focus on value chains for rice, cassava, sorghum, maize, soybeans, cotton, cocoa and oil-palm, as well as fishery and aquaculture and livestock production.”
The plan he said is to add an additional 20 million metric tonnes to domestic food production in four years, making Nigeria self-sufficient in rice production by 2015 and reducing the level of import of wheat by 40 per cent and creating 3.5 million jobs by 2015.
Also, a statement issued by Dr. Olukayo Oyeleye, the Special Assistant on Media and Strategy to the minister stated that agriculture is very important for Nigeria, which contributes 40 per cent of the GDP and over 70 per cent of all employment.
“We have articulated a clear vision to achieve a hunger-free Nigeria, through an agricultural sector that drives income growth, accelerates achievement of food and nutritional security, generates employment and transforms Nigeria into a leading player in global food markets, to grow wealth for millions of farmers,” he said.
Dr. Oyeleye noted that that there is a plan to grow the size of the agricultural sector from the present level of $99 billion per year to about $300 billion per year by 2030.