By A’isha Biola Raji
The governor of Kwara state and Chairman of the National Project Steering and Deployment Committee (NPSDC), Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq has stated that Nigeria smallholders farmers are capable of meeting domestic food needs of the populace.
The governor said this in a speech he delivered at the Presidency African Union Development Agency Summit on Wednesday
Appreciating the honor to preside over the National Project Steering and Deployment committee of the AUDA-NEPAD project which is geared towards “Innovative Strengthening of Smallholder Farmers Capabilities Towards Productive Land Restoration AMID COVID-19 in Nigeria.
He said the smallholder farmer is at the core of meeting domestic food needs, achieving food security and overall, actualizing the SDGs 1 and 2 and the zero hunger policy of The Federal Republic of Nigeria and The African Union.
He said the journey that started in August 2020, amid the unprecedented Covid-19 Pandemic shows that with the right political will and commitment, there is no limit to what the country can achieve.
Governor Abdulrahman said the importance of supporting the productivity of smallholder farmers cannot be overemphasized, as the country and continent gradually work to cushion the economic and social challenges posed by the global pandemic as evident by the recent “End SARs” protests in Nigeria.
According to him, laudable project will foster inclusive, collaborative and responsive processes across the development cycle: from planning, implementation, to monitoring and evaluation.
He said, “On this note, I commend the bottom up approach that was applied in the integrated planning process deployed by AUDA-Nepad Nigeria under the pragmatic leadership of Hon. Princess Gloria Akobundu.
“I am aware of the commitment of the AFR 100 initiative to support the project across all participating states.
“I also wish to particularly appreciate my brother Dr. Ibrahim Assane Maiyaki, and the entire AUDA-NEPAD Continental team for their efforts thus far in supporting Nigeria in mobilizing the necessary resources..
Since the last meeting, I have been informed of the progress each state has made thus far and I want to implore all state teams to continue to do the work and not relent.
“I also want to indulge my colleagues, governors of pilot states, to be models to the next set of States by facilitating policy based solutions to support their teams in order to ensure effective implementation of the project in their various States.
“I also want to reiterate my commitment to serving on this committee and that I will ensure the effective implementation of the project at various levels.”