Home News UNDP Lauds FG’s Agricultural Programme To Boost Food Security

UNDP Lauds FG’s Agricultural Programme To Boost Food Security


By Peter Uwumarogie

Gombe – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has commended the Federal Government’s agricultural programme aimed at boosting food security in the country.

Mrs Rhoda Dia, the Project Manager for UNDP-Global Environment Facility (GEF) Integrated Approach Programme on Food Security, made the commendation during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe on Wednesday.

Dia spoke on the sidelines of three-day training for extension workers on Good Agricultural Practices for Rice and Groundnuts production with focus on Climate Smart Practices.

The training is being implemented by the Federal Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development and funded by GEF and UNDP.

According to her, the several agricultural programmes of the Federal Government have been impressive in ensuring that the sector gets the needed attention to diversify the economy and create more jobs.

“The Federal Government has done well in the agricultural sector and this is attracting interventions from several organisations around the world and within the country.

“It is commendable to see that a lot is happening in the sector. This is giving the needed empowerment to women and jobs to the youths. The sector is huge with a prospect to boost the economy.

“This is why the UNDP and GEF are carrying out a training programme for 120 agricultural extension agents who are drawn from Adamawa and Gombe States.

“The training is on good agricultural practices with focus on Sustainable Land and Water Management (SLWM) and Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA).

“The project mandate crops are rice and groundnut. We are deliberately working to boost the capacity of farmers in the cultivation of these crops. The project is in alignment with the Federal Government agricultural transformation agenda.’’

She described the ban on importation of rice as good for farmers, adding that with the revolution in the agricultural sector and such ban, rice farmers would not lack market.

She said that the UNDP-GEF sponsored training would equip farmers in Adamawa and Gombe states with the needed environmental-friendly agricultural practices that would gradually improve the traditional methods of farming.
“This will go a long way to ensure farmers produce foods in a sustainable manner as against the old traditional methods where we deplete the soil and use local implements and seeds instead of the improved seeds.

“The training has afforded them the opportunity to learn new way of farming whereby you farm and also conserve the environment by using the climate smart practices.

“We taught them how to use improved seeds and how to address aflatoxin contamination in maize and groundnut; how to use and make organic manure and bio pest to eradicate pest from farms instead of using chemicals.’’

She hinted that 40  treadle pumps to manually draw water from farmlands when flooded had been given to farmers,  free in 20 communities in Adamawa and Gombe states.

In a similar vein, Mr Maina Jonathan, the Desk Officer of the UNDP-GEF project, Gombe State Agricultural Development Programme, commended the Federal Government for improving security in rural areas in the state.

Jonathan said that the improvement of security in the state had boosted agriculture, which according to him was beginning to attract young farmers to rural areas to take up agriculture as vocation.

He also commended the state government for prioritising the sector, especially in the area of showing willingness to paying counterpart funding to keep all agricultural programmes running in the state.

Mr Pius Birdling, the Desk Officer of the UNDP-GEF project, Adamawa State Agricultural Development Programme appealed that such trainings should be up-scaled to cover more local governments in Adamawa instead of the two presently running. 

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