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Nigeria raises $500M for food systems transformation, Shettima reveals to UN

Shettima explains how FG raised half a million dollars for food initiative.

Vice President Kashim Shettima on the first day of the UN Food Systems Summit 2023 [Presidency]

The Vice President made this significant disclosure while chairing a high-level meeting at the UN Food Systems Summit held in Rome, Italy, and attended by global leaders and representatives.

The funds, as stated by Vice President Shettima, were raised through a combination of domestic resources, multilateral development banks, international financial institutions, climate funds, and leading agro-businesses.

These resources will be strategically allocated to three key areas: "Innovation finance for food system transformation; development of Nigeria’s agro value chain, and Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones programs."

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One remarkable example that the Nigerian government is showcasing during the summit is the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP). Co-funded by Nigeria and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the VCDP has proved to be a successful partnership between producers, the public sector, and private operators.

This initiative has empowered vulnerable farmers and youth by enabling them to engage in commercial partnerships with prominent food processing and marketing firms, including OLAM, a world-leading agri-business company.

Vice President Shettima expressed the government's vision to eradicate hunger and uplift Nigeria's rural smallholders, operators, youth, and women living below the poverty line. The government aims to accomplish this by leveraging the newly established Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ).

The SAPZ brings together various stakeholders, including local governments, IFAD, AfDB, IsDB, GCF, OLAM, and other private actors, to provide transformative financing for food systems, ensuring that no one is left behind.

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During the panel discussion at the summit, Vice President Shettima emphasised President Tinubu's commitment to transforming the concept of modern governance through prioritising the food system in the country. Within just two months of taking office, President Tinubu declared a state of emergency in food security and integrated it into the National Security Council's agenda.

The Nigerian government has also addressed impediments to economic recovery, particularly by eliminating the subsidy on petrol and adopting a unified exchange rate system. To mitigate the effects of subsidy removal, the government promptly released grains and fertilizers. Furthermore, a commodity marketing board has been established to monitor and review food item prices continuously.

In addition to focusing on food security, the Nigerian government is also keen on strengthening its security architecture to support farms and farmers, especially in regions facing challenges akin to those experienced by Somalia and Kenya.

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