Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has been announced as the chairperson of the National Project Steering and Deployment Committee (NPSDC) for innovative strengthening of smallholder farmers capabilities in Nigeria.
According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Rafiu Ajakaye, the committee’s mandate includes strengthening smallholder farmers’ capabilities towards productive land restoration amid COVID-19 and to build resilient communities to ensure food security in Nigeria.
The statement says setting up of the committee was as a result of the Governors commitments to issues of sustainable development goals (SDGs) such as education, health, gender equality, climate action, eradication of poverty, sustainable agriculture, among others.
The committee was set up as part of the national strategy to drive growth and accelerate implementation of innovative projects to improve smallholder farmers’ capabilities in accordance with the National Development Plan of Nigeria.
It would also ensure the application of multi-sectoral approach for the deployment of innovative land restoration and energy access to accelerate food security, renewable energy access, land restoration, socio economic impacts, climate resilience, create jobs, and improve the standard of living and human wellbeing.
According to the statement, the steering committee comprises states governments of Nasarawa, Yobe, Bauchi, Kano, Kebbi, Ebonyi, Imo, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Ekiti, and Ondo.
The Committee, which is to lead the national implementation of the Africa Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) initiatives on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also comprises federal government agencies like the Ministries of Education, Power, Environment, Budget and National Planning, and Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority.
Other members include the Nigerian Farmers Association, Nigerian Women in Agriculture, Youth Initiative for Sustainable Agriculture, Central Bank of Nigeria, Development Bank of Nigeria, Bank of Agriculture, Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing Systems for Agricultural Lending, and the Dangote Group.
The mandate of the committee is to provide strategic leadership and policy orientation of the AUDA-NEPAD approach and projects in Nigeria, and to oversee progress of the project implementation, review and approval of result based periodic reports of the projects.