The Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) allocation for agriculture between 2014 – 2015 was 0.08% of the total funds of $2.2b disbursed to Nigeria by bilateral and multilateral donours.
Health and education sectors received the largest shares of 68.43% and 18.56% respectively during the period.
This was made known by the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP-Nigeria) in collaboration with Oxfam during a policy dialogue session on national budget in relation to climate change adaptation frameworks and policies in Abuja on Wednesday.
The research titled National Budget In Relation To Climate Change Adaptation Frameworks and Policies in Nigeria by OXFAM and WANEP revealed that “the mean share of agriculture in the national budget between 2010-2015 periods was 1.5 %.”
Although the percentage allocation for agriculture in the 2018 budget increased from 2.2% to 3.5%, this is still far below the benchmark of 10% national budget allocation stipulated at the African Union Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security in 2003 in Maputo, Mozambique.
The research also observed that “there was a chequered pathway for ODA flows for Ministries of Budget and Planning, Agriculture, Environment, other MDAs and CSOs. This is due to largely uncoordinated processes and at best modest outcomes.”
It further revealed that small scale farmers’ profile reflected their vulnerabilities to climate change, especially for females. It found that male farmers were generally older than females, had more years of farming experience, cultivated larger areas for farming (1.7h-m, 1.1h-f), earned higher incomes, had less access to land and credit, and had access to inputs and other facilities like water, inputs, Improved technology and extension services.
The OXFAM study also itemized 10 unsettling facts that are undermining the efforts at achieving food security and justice under climate change.
It said: “Small-scale farmers are not the focus of investments in climate change adaptation in Agriculture in Nigeria. Nigeria had the lowest share of spending on agriculture and rural development (4.9 per cent) as part of international aid between 2007 and 2015 behind countries like Pakistan, Tanzania , Philippines, Ethiopia and Ghana; Nigeria’s population size is about equal to the combined populations of the six countries receiving the largest share of multilateral climate adaptation funding; Nigeria’s agriculture sector received 0.08% of aid in financial Year 2014-2015, significantly behind aid invested in health (68%) and education (19%); Nigeria’s budget spending on agriculture has remained significantly below Maputo target of 10 per cent.
“Female small scale farmers have relatively poor access to resources; Female small scale farmers are worst affected by ineffectiveness of Government investment in agriculture; About 90 percent of farm holdings in Nigeria is less than two hectares in size; The rate at which climate change is happening is outpacing the effort of the small scale farmer to adapt; Over emphasis on the uptake of climate smart agriculture and agribusiness over agro-ecology to boost food production.”
It noted that the “killer facts” if not adequately addressed could deal a fatal blow on efforts to attain food security in the short to long term in Nigeria.
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The National Network Coordinator (WANEP), Mrs. Bridget Osakwe, said the event was timely as it addressed issues that undermine food security in the country.
According to the Influencing/Public Engagement Officer of OXFAM, Mr Abdulazeez Musa, “with adequate support, small-scale farmers throughout Nigeria could overturn rampant malnutrition and move the country towards food security. But as the Nigerian proverb goes, ‘fine words do not produce food’.
“The government is pursuing a vision of economic transformation and commercialization with agriculture at the center, yet small-scale farmers are not the focus of investments.
“Funding levels for agriculture and climate change adaptation are significantly lower than promises, and money is skewed towards larger scale projects and research.
“The support that small-scale farmers need is straightforward – ranging from fertilizer to market access to climate change adaptation and strategies – and the Nigerian government must escalate investments to deliver these vital resources.”
The Chairman of the Civil Societies and Development Partners, Hon. Peter O. Akpatason, noted that there is an inherent issue in the budget concerning allocation to agriculture that urgently needs to be cured.
According to him, “the legislators and executive cannot solve it alone.
“For the budget to work, we need a friendly engagement between legislators, executives and the civil society.
“Moving up from 2.2 per cent to 3.5 per cent in budgetary allocation to agriculture is a quantum leap, but it can be better. We need more serious engagements.”
According to the President of the National Association of Nigerian Traders, Barr. Ken Ukhuoha, “we need to question the budgetary allocation for the 36 states of the federation (including the FCT), private sectors investments and Overseas Development Assistance (ODA).
“For example, the investment by OLAM exceeds that of some states in agricultural investments.”
The availability of agric extension services to small scale farmers, access to funding, corruption and delay in the release of funds by Anchor Borrowers Program of the CBN, falsification of data in the implementation of grants in agricultural projects, inconsistency in policy implementation, Illiteracy (especially among female farmers) etc., were among the other issues raised by the participants at the event.
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