The Nigerian Senate has approved the establishment of the National Agricultural Development Fund, passing a bill titled “National Agricultural Development Fund (Establishment) Bill, 2021” to establish it.
The fund seeks to provide financial support for strategic aspects of agricultural development in the country. The Bill will, in turn, help to ensure food production and security. In addition, it will help provide the finance for the implementation of policies, strengthen financial institutions, and encourage donor institutions to provide funding for the agricultural sector.
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, commented that it is important that the Bill gets the President’s signature, as the fund would transform the Nigerian economy and ensure job creation.
Chairman of the committee, Abdullahi Adamu, stated that the bane of the Nigerian agricultural sector is the lack of funding or inadequate funding. Adamu revealed that Nigeria is yet to implement the 2003 Maputo declaration on Agriculture requiring states, parties to allocate 10% of its national budget for agricultural development. According to him, if this were implemented, there would have been major changes to research and development, food production and food security.
The 2003 Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security was signed by African Heads of State and Government, and among the decisions contained was the “commitment to the allocation of at least 10% of national budgetary resources to agriculture and rural development policy implementation within five years”.
In line with the federal government’s commitment to diversifying the economy, the fund would address all the outlined and improve international competitiveness.