Actionaid Nigeria and Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID) have charged government at all levels to invest in agriculture in order to boost food production to bridge the gap created by covid-19 pandemic in the country.
The Executive Director PIBCID, Halima Oiza Sadiq gave the charge during the occasion of the 2021 commemoration of the world food day in Lokoja with the theme “Our actions, our future” organized by ActionAid Nigeria and PIBCID in partnership with Kogi State Ministry of Agriculture.
Oiza Sadiq stated that the emergence of covid-19 pandemic has created negative impart to agricultural sector, noting that the aim of the celebration was to appreciate the efforts of small holders farmers especially women in agriculture who against all odds including covid-19 pandemic have ensure a reduction in hunger across the country.
She noted that part of the activities of the celebration was to create global awareness and challenges of malnutrition due to hunger and the possible means through which government at all levels can play their roles in addressing the challenges through massive investments in agricultural sector by building synergy toward a sustainable Agriculture programmes and projects.
“We celebrate this day to appreciate efforts by Small Holder Farmers especially Women in Agriculture who against all odds including COVID-19 Pandemic, ensured a reduction in the world hunger.
“This activity is aimed at creating global awareness and challenges of malnutrition as a result of sufferings from hunger and to further encourage nutrition sensitive Agriculture for citizens’ health and well being given that a healthy nation is a wealthy nation”, she explained.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, David Apeh in his opening address at the occasion said the State Government has done so much in the fight against hunger, poverty and disease through prompt payment of counterparts funding to international donor agencies in order to ensure and promote food security in the state.
The Commissioner noted that the journey of the state’s agricultural development had been eventful and “very rewarding” and assured that the sector would continue to receive topmost priority attention from government now and in the future.
In her goodwill message, Hajia Safiya Yahaya, Kogi State Coordinator and National Auditor-General of Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON) commended Governor Yahaya Bello for according women and youths recognition.
She urged government to hear their voice and always ensure implementation of the budgetary allocations to the women saying that the N100 million naira earmarked for women in yearly budgets be released to them to enhance their effort in food production, processing and marketing.
In a paper presentation , Lydia Oyewole of Fadama stated that in just concluded Fadama three additional funding and APPEALS projects women and youth were actively involved in the implementation of various agricultural enterprises that will create jobs and also make Kogi State food basket of the country.
She called on the state government to invest more in agriculture in ensuring increase food production, processing and marketing of priority crops to improve the economic standard of the people.
The Chairman Kogi NGO Network , Idris Muraina in his overview of the 2021 budget of Kogi State, commended the State Government for the implementation of budgetary provision and urged the government to improve in budgetary allocation to agriculture as the easiest way for diversification of the state economy.