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Nigeria: FG hosts a meeting to discuss Agrifood systems

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Agricultural silos of concrete and metal. Storage of agricultural production.

The Federal Government is hosting a 3-day meeting to discuss the status of Agrifood Systems in West Africa

The meeting is organized for 15 West African countries and the Sahel sub-region will take place at the 13th Multidisciplinary Team Meeting (MDT13) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO, for West Africa.

The meeting will among other things, deliberate on the situation of food and nutrition situation in the area.

The FAO made it known that the 3-day meeting will commence on 15th March 2022. The meeting will be both virtual and physical and will attract the attendance of over 200 delegates from the ECOWAS member states including senior officials, ministers, and commissioners of agriculture, FAO staff, regional technical organizations, civil society among others.

The 3-day meeting has been tagged ‘Joining efforts to build resilient Agrifood Systems in West Africa and Sahel’, in which the countries will take stock of developments, achievements, and challenges of the previous year.

The statement of the meeting paraphrase reads as follows

“Taking stock of developments; Under the theme: ‘Joining efforts to build resilient Agrifood Systems in West Africa and the Sahel’, the countries will take stock of developments, achievements and challenges of the previous year, the alignment of national priorities with those of the sub-region and Africa Region at large and then plan for the emerging issues during 2022.

“The MDT13 comes at a time when the West African and the Sahel societies are in the midst of rapid demographic and socioeconomic transformations, with population growth, urbanization, rising incomes, climate change, and globalization acting as key drivers of change.

“At the same time, West Africa’s agrifood system faces continuing challenges of a declining natural resource base, recurrent natural and human-caused disasters, climate change, and rising insecurity.

“In his message during his meeting with FAO Nigeria delegation ahead of the meeting, the Federal Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, who is the host on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, Dr. Mohammad Mahamood Abubakar, said that this was a great opportunity for the country and the region as a whole to deliberate on food security and nutrition issues facing them.

An opportunity for Nigeria: “This is quite an opportunity for the countries to come together. I have always advocated for Africa to cooperate more than we are doing now. We need more of the brotherly country-to-country cooperation. I believe this is one of those opportunities of getting this message across”, Abubakar said.

He also added that “I can assure you of Nigeria’s full participation to make sure that our priorities as a country and those of the region align with FAO’s objectives for our own benefits and development through cooperation and coordination.”

Fred Kafeero, the FAO Representative in Nigeria and to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), said before the commencement of the meeting that the meeting will further discuss the current food situation in the sub-region and its determinant.

It will also discuss the needs and requirements of the member states and key partner institutions to mitigate the situation.”

The meeting will create opportunities to reinforce cohesion for enhanced collaboration, joint planning, and mutual accountability in driving actions towards a resilient agrifood system, among key partners.

These include regional bodies and member states together with their counterparts in FAO and other UN Agencies, regional producer organizations, and technical and financial partners.

The statement added that “For three days, under the Chairmanship of Hon. Abubakar, the 200 expected participants will assess the current food and nutrition situation in the sub-region and its determinants. They will then determine the needs and requirements of ECOWAS member states and key partner institutions to mitigate the situation.”

 

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