Senate Steps Up Effort To Establish National Agricultural Development Fund

Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at a Plenary (Photo credit: guardian.ng)

The Senate has made a move to establish the National Agricultural Development Fund to provide finance to support the strategic aspect of agricultural development in Nigeria.

The Fund, when established, will promote the financing of agricultural research, training, technology, innovation, extension and fixing critical value chains required for the evolution of strategic industries in Nigeria, as well as the establishment of agricultural clusters, processing zones, and agro-allied industries.

Towards this end, a Bill for an Act to establish the National Agricultural Development Fund and matters connected therewith, 2020(SB.119) sponsored by Senator Abdullahi Adamu, scaled the second reading at Plenary and was referred by the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan to the Senator Abdullahi Adamu-led Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development to report back in four weeks.

According to the bill, the Fund would provide emergency support fund for agricultural control rural access to financing of a transboundary animal disease outbreak; support service through microfinance and collaborate with development partners to support food security and agricultural modernisation and competitiveness.

In his lead debate, Senator Abdullahi Adamu said, The Bill for an Act to Establish the National Agricultural Development Fund and Matters Connected Therewith 2020 (SB. 119) was read the first time in this hallowed chamber on Tuesday 5th November 2019.

This bill seeks to establish the National Agricultural Development Fund for the purposes of providing sustainable funding for agricultural development in Nigeria taking into consideration the critical need to address food production, food security, economic diversification, job creation and international competitiveness of the agricultural sector in Nigeria.

On the objectives of the Bill, Senator Adamu said, “Some of the objectives of the Bill include to Improve ‘institutional capacity for enhanced Agricultural Productivity, Income, employment, accessibility to quality inputs and outputs markets through research, innovation, technology upgrading and extension;

“Develop human and natural resources for sustainable production and value addition; Support the development of rural cooperatives, and clusters through supporting access to finance, markets and quality control, farmer & rural institutions;

“Promote the evolution of commodity markets, commodity exchange and market-driven aggregation central for an effective link with the industrial and international markets;

“Promote agribusiness investment readiness of different entities on specific agricultural commodities and products;  Develop a vibrant, sustainable and competitive agricultural sector; and  Work with and support the main Ministry to support critical value chains and specific rural development programmes.”

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