In a strategic move to enhance food security and rejuvenate Nigeria’s agriculture sector, the Federal Government and Sustain Africa Initiative sealed a groundbreaking Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Friday. Vice President Kashim Shettima, during the signing ceremony at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, emphasized President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s unwavering commitment to reshaping the nation’s agriculture sector for sustainable food security.
Sustain Africa Initiative, a crisis response and resilience initiative dedicated to improving fertilizer accessibility, affordability, and sustainable use in Sub-Saharan Africa, partnered with the Federal Government to address the challenges faced by smallholder farmers.
Vice President Shettima, expressing the significance of the initiative, stated, “It is a significant milestone in the commitment of the Tinubu administration to the prosperity and sustainability of agriculture in Nigeria.” He underscored the need for practical involvement, stating, “It is not about us sitting in the comfort of our air-conditioned offices. We really need to see what the farmers are going through.”
Highlighting the pivotal role of inputs in agriculture, VP Shettima, an Agricultural Economist by training, asserted, “Without sufficient, quality inputs, without investing in the immediate technology, without devoting our time to best agricultural practice, our output will remain low.” He acknowledged the critical role of fertilizer in agriculture and commended the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for their support.
The Vice President conveyed President Tinubu’s regards and appreciation for the initiative, acknowledging the courage to declare a state of emergency in the agric sector. He revealed the government’s plans to launch an agricultural transformation plan, emphasizing the commitment to reducing the prices of essential food items.
Shettima assured that the partnership with Sustain Africa Initiative was more than a symbolic gesture, asserting that understanding the challenges faced by ordinary Nigerians was paramount to ensuring lasting prosperity in agriculture.
The MoU signing signifies a transformative journey, aiming to engage farmers across the six-geo-political zones. Dr. Kingsley Uzoma, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Agribusiness, signed on behalf of the Federal Government, while Mr. Michael Sudarkasa represented Sustain Africa Initiative.
Present at the historic ceremony were the Minister of State for Agriculture, Sen. Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, and Mr. Ben Valk, Executive Director of Sustain Africa Initiative. The alliance seeks to fortify Nigeria’s food systems, paving the way for reforms, interventions, partnerships, and innovations envisioned in the Ministry’s strategic plans and Sustain Africa’s initiatives. The event marks a significant stride toward achieving a resilient and secure future for Nigeria’s agriculture.