The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) through the National Programme for Food Security on Friday inaugurated a 15- member Edo State Cadre Harmonies (CH) taskforce on food and nutrition security in Benin.
Mr Peter Aikhuomobhogbe, the Acting Permanent Secretary, Edo Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, while inaugurating the taskforce thanked the Federal Government for the initiative.
Aikhuomobhogbe said the Cadre Harmonies programme would help give clear data and accurate pictures on current food security situation in Edo.
He urged the team to ensure that they provide accurate data that would help the state and the federal government plan and support identified vulnerable groups in the state.
“Climate change is affecting and disrupting food supply in the state. In 2020 as a state, we supported rice production of over 500 hectares of land in Edo.
“Incidentally we had one whole month of drought and that affected farmers’ yield.
“When I saw this programme and was told that it was a tool developed to deal with issues such as climate change, I was happy.
“Early warning alerts would help in averting some crisis that may arise during food production,” Aikhuomobhogbe said.
According to him, we expect that the taskforce should be properly trained and provided necessary tools to work.
Also speaking, Mr Fred Kafeero, the Representative of the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) Nigeria, said the Cadre Harmonies scheme started in 2015 and was implemented in 16 states including the FCT.
Represented by Suleiman Mohammed, the National Monitoring and Evaluation Associate, FAO, Kafeero said food security and nutrition were the core mandate of FAO.
He explained that FAO was committed to working with the federal government and all partners to provide for the vulnerable groups identified through Cadre Harmonies analysis.
“The progress of the Cadre Harmonies analysis in the 16 states has led to it being expanded to five more states including Edo.
”The five additional states include: Abia, Enugu, Cross River, Lagos and Edo.
“The Cadre Harmonies is a unifying tool that helps to produce relevant consensual, rigorous, and transparent analysis of current and projected food and nutrition situations
“It is a platform that helps to plan the response to food and nutrition crisis as part of intervention,” he said.
He urged the newly inaugurated Edo taskforce to gather accurate data that would aid development.
Mr Bulama Dauda, a member of the Cadre Harmonies National taskforce team, however, gave the newly inaugurated Edo taskforce a brief of what was expected of a CH member.