The Bola Tinubu-led federal government has said it has mobilised over half a billion dollars to transform its food system.
POLITICS NIGERIA reports that Vice President Kashim Shettima made the disclosure on Monday while speaking at the UN Food Systems Summit in Rome, Italy.
Shettima said the funds would be used to support innovative, profitable, equitable and sustainable food systems.
“We are determined to transform the concept and meaning of modern governance by demonstrating commitment towards the food system in our country,” Shettima said.
The funds will be used to support a number of initiatives, including the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), which has empowered vulnerable farmers and youth to engage in commercial partnerships with some of the biggest food processing and marketing firms in the world.
This newspaper learnt the government is also planning to create Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) to help rural smallholders and operators, youth and women living below the poverty line to take advantage of new opportunities in the food sector.
“We have declared a state of emergency in food security and taken it as a livelihood item within the National Security Council,” Shettima said.
The government has also taken steps to remove impediments to economic recovery, such as the withdrawal of the subsidy on petrol and the creation of a commodity marketing board to monitor the prices of food items.
“We are repositioning our security architecture to provide support for farms and farmers,” Shettima said.
The UN Food Systems Summit aims to address the challenges facing the global food system.
In attendance were the President of IFAD, Dr. Alvaro Lario, H.E. Muhammad Suleiman Al Jasser, President of Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), Vice President of AfDB, Mrs. Hassatau N’Sele, Vice President of OLAM International Mr. Reji George and Vice President, Commodity Alliance Forum (Representative of farmers) Mrs Ejim Lovelyn.