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ECOWAS advocates safety measures on food

The ActionAid Nigeria, the ECOWAS Commission and stakeholder in the agriculture sector, have called on various governments to ensure proper sanitary measures on local and exportable produce to improve food safety.

The stakeholders said this in a communiqué at the end of a two-day Consultative Meeting on 2019 Agriculture Budget on Wednesday and signed by Mr Azubike Nwokoye, Coordinator, Food and Agriculture Programme, ActionAid Nigeria in Abuja.

It said that poor food safety and phyto-sanitary measures had been identified with some Nigerian agricultural commodities including yams and beans.

The stated that there was the need for the Federal Government to channel more of its agricultural investments to the production of locally fabricated simple farm machines.

It noted that locally fabricated farm implement would match the soil requirement of Nigerian agro-ecological zones and be easily accessible to smallholder farmers.

The stakeholders while commending the government for the continuous increase of agriculture budgets since 2016, said there was need to increase the percentage of agriculture budget to hit 10 per cent provided by the Maputo/ Malabo declarations by 2019.

According to the communique, farmers especially smallholder women farmers who produce over 60 per cent of food consumed in Nigeria are not currently involved in the agriculture budgeting processes.

It said that there was no formal strategy to involve women farmers and this had resulted in untapped potential of women farmers and the attendant low agricultural productivity in the country.

The stakeholders in the communique called for adequate monitoring of the implementation of agriculture projects by relevant stakeholders.

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