Stories by John Oba
Investigation by the Agronature Nigeria, an online medium on World Bank financing of Nigeria’s Agriculture sector has revealed that over $2 billion ($2,065,300,000) worth of agricultural projects financed by the global bank in the country between 2008 and 2017.
The projects were approved for execution intermittently within a 9 year period.
However, indications have shown that despite the massive funding a commensurate result is yet to be achieved as the country still import most of its staple food, except for rice which recently dropped from 644,131 tons in 2015 to 21, 000 tons in 2017 as well as fish imports.
Since 1971, World Bank have funded many agriculture projects on behalf of the Federal Government to the tune of $4.83 billion aside from the most recent and ongoing projects.
According to information gathered from the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS), World Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN), and made available to Agronature Nigeria by Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), the project ranges from FADAMA to rural mobility interventions.
For instance, the FADAMA III World Bank project with Identification (P096572) got $250 million and approved on July 1st, 2008, followed by $200 million State Employment and Expenditure for Results Projects (P121455) approved on March 6th, 2012 and Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) with ID (P124905) approved at $500 million on 8th may, 2012.
Others are $170 million NG-Rural Access and Mobility Project, Phase 2 (P095003) approved on September 25th, 2012; $200 million FADAMA III AF (P130788) approved on June 28th, 2013; Transforming Irrigation management in Nigeria ID (123112) approved at $495.30m on June 19th, 2014; FADAMA III AF 2 with ID (P158535) approved $50 million on June 7th, 2016 and Agro-Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project ID (P148616) got $200 million approval on March 23rd, 2017.
These approved funds are different from financial supports from the FAO.
But from March 2011 to October 2016, the FAO supported the nation’s agriculture sector with extra donations in millions.
Aside from supports from international donors and development partners, the sector has also suffered serious commitment from the federal government, especially in the area of funding. The Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security in Africa is a commitment endorsed by the federal government alongside other African member states.
However, 14 years after, Nigeria is yet to fulfill its commitment by allocating 10 per cent of annual budgetary allocation to the sector, despite its significant contributions to the economy and job creation to most rural communities.
The highest allocation to the sector was in 2008 when about 4.5 per cent of the year’s budget was assigned to the sector.
In the 2017 budget, the agriculture sector got about N135.54 billion from the overall budget of N7.4 trillion representing only 1.82 per cent.
The Programme Manager, African Centre for Food Agriculture and Sustainable Development (Afri-CASD), Mr. Kazeem Biriowo called for a change of attitude on the part of government.
He described agriculture as one of the drivers of the economy that should enjoy significant attention and supports from the government.
According to him, but for recent interventions, the sector has suffered serious setbacks. He noted that the sector deserve more attention considering the issue of post-harvest losses, communal crisis, poor rural access road as well as pests.
Biriowo, while commending the current administration for its efforts so far urged it to vigorously pursue implementation of the Agriculture Promotion Policy (APP) for the benefit of the masses.
Zero-hunger calls for a no-waste-food resolution for the new year
As the world celebrates the beginning of a new year, the Zero-Hunger has called on celebrant to watch against food wastage.
The organisation in a statement from FAO website said festivities in many parts of the world are now synonymous with over eating and wastage.
“The holidays are a great time to celebrate food and to appreciate it. Yet, holidays have, in some parts of the world, become synonymous with over-eating and food waste. In general, 1/3 of all the food produced in the world is either lost or wasted. That amounts to 1.3 billion tons per year.
“And food isn’t the only thing that is wasted when it goes uneaten: all of the resources (like seeds, water, feed, etc), money and labour that go into making it are also lost. This holiday when we celebrate the people and things that we value, let us make saving food one of them,” the statement read.
It further gave tips on how to avoid and reduce food wastage; be realistic, plan in advance and don’t prepare food for 50 people if only 5 are coming to dinner.
“Freeze leftovers or give them to guests – If you do cook too much food, encourage guests to take some home with them. Whatever is left, put it promptly in the freezer for another day. In general, food should not be left at room temperature for longer than two hours.
Turn the leftover food into the next day’s lunch or dinner. There are many creative recipes on the internet for using leftovers. In fact, several dishes like casseroles, goulash, fattoush and panzanellastarted from the desire not to waste fruits, vegetables or even excess, bread. Make sure that you store any leftovers in the refrigerator and use it as soon as possible.
Finish leftovers before making something new. The instinct to make something different for every meal is quite common, but before cooking a new dish, see if you have anything already prepared and still safe to eat to finish first. Alternatively, turn your old leftovers into a new dish. Just remember to avoid re-heating food and then putting it back into the refrigerator later.
Allow guests to serve themselves so they can choose as much or as little as they want. As nice as it is to serve people, a host might not accurately gage how much or how little someone wants to eat, and usually errs on the side of too much. Allowing guests to serve themselves mean that they can choose the amount that they would like to eat. As a food waste tip for guests: when a meal is self-serve, don’t take more than you can eat.
Donate what you don’t use. If you buy extra cans, dried goods or other non-perishable food that can be donated, there are many local charities that happily accept these foods. Check the internet for places near you that accept donations.
FAO hails UN resolutions honoring family farmers, bees, camelids, fisheries
FAO welcomes the UN’s decision to create a decade on family farming, a World Bee Day, a day promoting awareness of the need to combat illegal fishing, and declare international years for camelids and artisanal fisheries and aquaculture.
World Bee Day will now be celebrated on May 20 of every year.
And 2019 will mark the beginning of the UN Decade of Family Farming, drawing more attention to the people who produce more than 80% of the world’s food but whose own members, paradoxically, are often the most vulnerable to hunger.
2024, meanwhile, will be the International Year of Camelids.
The UN General Assembly on Wednesday approved three new resolutions that task FAO with leading organizational and information-sharing roles.
Not only do pollinators, smallholders and camelids contribute directly to food security, but they are key levers for conserving biodiversity, another cornerstone of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Earlier this month, the General Assembly had also proclaimed an international day to celebrate the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and an international year to promote artisanal fisheries and aquaculture.
“I welcome the UN member countries’ endorsement of these important food and agriculture issues. The observances starting next year will help raise global attention and momentum for the urgent push towards achieving Zero Hunger by 2030,” said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva.
Bees and other pollinators – including butterflies, bats and hummingbirds – allow many plants, including many food crops, to reproduce.
May 20 has been chosen for the annual day as it is the birthday of Anton Janša, who in the 18thcentury pioneered modern beekeeping techniques in his native Slovenia – which led the push for the celebration-and praised the animal for its ability to work so hard while needing so little attention.
The honeybee in particular has been a workhorse, not only as a pollinator able to visit around 7,000 flowers a day but also as a provider of honey-coveted for millennia as food and medicine – and for offering livelihood opportunities requiring little capital or land ownership.
FAO has included training in beekeeping in multiple rural development projects from Azerbaijan to Niger and is leading the assembly of a data base on pollination services around the world.
Today, pollinators have an additional contribution to make to food security as they not only foster plant life but serve as sentinels for emergent environmental risks, signalling the health of local ecosystems. Invasive insects, pesticides, land-use change and monocropping practices that may reduce available nutrients all pose threats to bee colonies.
More than 90 percent of the 570 million farms worldwide are managed by an individual or a family and rely primarily on family labour. These farms produce more than 80 percent of the world’s food in value terms, confirming their central importance in world food security today and in for future generations. At the same time, most of the rural poor are family farmers.
The Sustainable Development Goals are characterized by a strong focus on smallholder and family farmers, targeting, by 2030, to double their agricultural productivity and incomes, in particular women, and including indigenous peoples, pastoralists and fishers.
Policy attention and investments must focus not only on increasing yields and incomes, but also on a more complex set of objectives, including securing rights over natural resources-such as land, water and seeds, enhancing inclusive markets, adapting to climate change, decent rural employment, appropriate risk-management tools and social protection programmes.