By Mohammed Kandi
The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has called on African Governments to keep to their political commitments and encourage holistic approach, social participation and family planning, in order to win the war against hunger.
Director-General of the FAO, H.E Dr. Jose Graziano da Silva, represented by the FAO Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Louise Setshwaelo, made the call recently at the Agricultural Exhibition organized by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as part of activities lined-up to celebrate the 2014 World Food Day in Nigeria.
Dr. da Silva stated that throughout the world, family farmers play crucial socio-economic, environmental and cultural role, noting that amid serious challenges, the need for them to be cherished and strengthened through innovation becomes imperative.
According to him, there was the need for more family farmers to be involved for the survival of the continent.
The FAO Director-General commended the ministry for graciously organizing the 2014 World Food Day celebration while emphasizing the importance of the celebration, stating that family farmers make tremendous contributions to food security and sustainable development because they feed the world and care for the earth.
Also speaking, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government towards addressing the issue of food security through the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA).
Enumerating the strategies the Ministry had adopted in boosting agriculture under the present administration, the Minister who was represented by the Director, Federal Department of Agriculture, FMARD, Mr. Damilola Eniaiyeju, said “agriculture is presently being driven through commodity value chain, gender mainstreaming, youth in agricultural development and Staple Crop Processing Zones.”
The Minister stated that the Ministry had adopted the National Extension System and Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme, through which many successes have been recorded, especially in the decline of the food import bill from $46.9 billion in 2009 to $4.34 billion by the end of 2013, thereby reducing the foreign exchange deficit.