By Franca Ofili
The National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANT) on Monday called on the Federal Government to increase funding and monitoring mechanisms of agricultural policies to create the much-needed impact on the populace.
Mr Ken Ukaoha, president of the association said this at the joint sector review of Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and National Agricultural Investment Plan (NAIP) stakeholders’ advocacy meeting in Abuja.
Ukaoha commended the present government for putting up strategies to address the issues of agriculture in the country.
He said CAADP was aimed at facilitating increased agricultural performance through improvements in policy and institutional environment, access to improved technology and increased agricultural financing.
He said though policies were already developed to increase agricultural performance, but monitoring of the impact of the policies on the people had not been effective.
“The agric trade agreement did not link with the continental level before but now the Federal Government has ensure that the country has strong linkage with continental and Economic Community of West Africa State levels,” Ukaoha said.
He said that the linkage had brought about strong design for the agric sector.
Ukaoha said the meeting would discuss the input that would be presented in the forthcoming biannual review.
He called on stakeholders to rise up to the challenge of asking questions on the validity of policies, their effectiveness, capacity to deliver on proclaimed principles and objectives of job creation.
He said Nigeria should not wait for donor agencies to fund the forthcoming validation exercise, adding that government could fund the exercise.
Ukaoha advised that the farmers should be carried along so that they could make better inputs.
He said there was the need for the country to properly manage the issues concerning agriculture with sustainable programmes because agriculture was the backbone of the economy.
Mr sylevster Baye, Chairman of CAADP said the African Union (AU) had adopted the NAIP as central instrument for the implementation of the CAADP.
Baye said that the plan accommodates and interlinks other national development plans and secures the buy-in of state and non-state actors.
He said that Nigeria signed the CAADP compact on Oct. 30, 2009 and developed the first national agricultural investment plan document in 2010.
He also said Nigeria had established a CAADP country team structure for the implementation of the plan same year.
“The technical working group after series of meetings and consultations with relevant stakeholders developed the zero draft NAIP-2 in October 2017 which will be subjected to regional and national validation workshop and the launch,’’ he said. (NAN)