Poverty reduction: IFAD/FG launch strategic opportunities programme 2024-2029
Dede Ekoue, Country Director, IFAD-Nigeria, at the launch of COSOP2024-2029
By Felicia Imohimi
The Federal Government and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD/FG), on Wednesday launched the design of new Country Strategic Opportunities Programme, 2024-2029, (COSOP) for transformation of Nigeria’s agriculture food systems.
Mrs Dede Ekoue, Country Director, IFAD-Nigeria, identified COSOP as a roadmap for the implementation of IFAD’s mandate for inclusive and sustainable rural transformation focusing on small holders farmers in line with food system approach.
The Country Director said this during the National Technical Launch of Nigeria-IFAD COSOP Formulation in Abuja.
According to her, the 2024 to 2029 COSOP design process adopts a highly consultative participatory and inclusive process that solicits the views of broad range of stakeholders from the government, small-scale farmer representatives, farmer organisations, private sector and development partners.
Ekoue said the measure was to ensure that COSOP is alive to the needs and aspirations of the people and cognisant of the prevailing challenges, opportunities, resources and technological requirements to meet the people’s expectations.
“in this regards the launch today therefore marks a key milestone toward meeting these objectives and signals the start of the engagement process.’’
She said the programme, as a transformative approach for sustainability and scale up results, will enable the rural poor and smallholders farmers to pull themselves out of poverty.
“COSOP is a cooperation strategy between IFAD and a member country which identifies the key objectives and development results to be pursued during a timeframe of five to nine years.
“It takes into consideration country’s fragility and vulnerability to natural and man-made shocks, or weak governance structures, mainstream gender, youth, nutrition and climate resilience.
“Partnerships strategy with private sector for empowerment of the rural poor and the small holders and agrifood system transformation.”
She noted that the current COSOP, 2016 to 2023, whose goal was to have a rural economy in which the targeted population can derive prosperity and equal benefits from economic growth have had huge successes.
She assured stakeholders that COSOP would have adequate salient features that focuses on smallholder farmers, enhances innovation, builds in transparency, assesses fragility and vulnerability.
“It also identifies the right targets and builds partnership strategies with development partners and private sector actors.
Ekoue said “COSOP will assess risks and purpose mitigation strategies and learn across board through the south-south and triangular cooperation in order to create an enabling environment for the development of inclusive and profitable agricultural value chains.
Dr Faniran Sanjo, Convener, UN Food System Transformation Pathway for Nigeria, said COSOP was informed based on the call by the United Nation Secretary General António Guterres in 2020 on all countries.
He quoted the Secretary General as calling on all countries to look inward and come up with issues that are affecting food systems and to change the narrative.
Sanjo, also the Director Social Development Department, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, said Nigeria joined other countries and held dialogue across all the length and breadth of the country cutting across geopolitical zones.
He said “three levels of dialogue were held one for policies makers, one across the zones and we crown it up with national consultative dialogue that brought about all the issues that are affecting food system.’’
“We came up with recommended solutions presented by President Muhammad Buhari at the 2021 UN Food System Summit in New York.
He revealed that at the moment, implementation of the programme has commenced with the involvement of one state as coordinator of each of the six geopolitical zones.
He also identified Lagos State as coordinating for South west, Kwara coordinating for North Central, Kano state coordinating for North West, Enugu coordinating for south east, Akwa-Ibom coordinating for south south, while Borno state is coordinating for north east.
“Each of the states have set up machinery to ensure that the coordination cut across all the areas.
“We have also constituted a stirring committee, Permanent Secretaries of Ministry of Agriculture, six states being chaired by the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, and Co-Chaired by Country Director FAO, IFAD and World Food Programme