Nigeria, IFAD promote Innovative Food Financing Model at UN Food Systems Summit

The Government of Nigeria with support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) held a high-level side event on Monday, 24 July 2023 at the United Nations Food Systems Summit Stocktaking Moment in Rome, Italy.

The Vice President of Nigeria, Senator Kashim Shettima while chairing a panel at the Nigeria High Level Event on Innovative Finance for Food Systems Transformation – Case study of Nigeria’s Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) and Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones Programs (SAPZ) said Agricultural hubs will be created throughout the nation through the SAPZ and VCDP to increase production and value-added processing.

He emphasized that in line with the Nigeria Food Systems Transformation Pathways, the Federal Government will continue to advance the mobilization of innovative financing to address the key challenges to food systems priorities.

Shettima noted that considering the huge food finance gap in Nigeria, regional and global level, Nigeria is calling for the mobilization of key national and international stakeholders’ formal sectors to build win- win partnerships to catalyze transformative and substantial funding for the achievement of sustainable, resilient, and inclusive food systems.

In his remark, President of IFAD, Mr. Alvaro Lario said “to stimulate private investment, we need governments and development agencies to lead the way with their own investments. We must also ensure these investments help small holders farmers increase their incomes, improve their access to markets, increase their production and build their resilience.”

the President of Islamic Development Bank, Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser and the President of African Development Bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina who was represented by Mrs Hassatou N’Sele Vice-President AfDB reiterated their firm commitment to support Nigeria in achieving its development aspirations and implementing its future national development plans.

A panelist at the event, Mr Reji George who is the Vice-President of OLAM a private partner of IFAD-supported VCDP said the partnership agreement between VCDP and Olam under the Commodity Alliance Forum (CAF) provides smallholder rice farmers with access to a reliable and profitable market for their produce, and in turn stimulates productive investments at the farm level. The partnership involves commitments from Olam, IFAD, the Nigerian government and the farmers (individually and as a collective).

Mrs. Ejim Lovelyn, Vice President of Commodity Alliance Forum representing farmers said CAF is an outstanding case of Public/Private/Producers Partnership (4Ps) of the VCDP. Through VCDP, smallholder farmers are contributing to financing priority actions for food system transformation and they are benefit from value chain financing provided by the private sector while also growing their sales and their productivity.

Two case studies were presented with a high-level panel discussion to showcase two innovative finance models aimed to transform Nigeria’s food system. First, the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones (SAPZ) programme, launched in 2022, is a US$ 521.00 million with the aim to promote inclusive agribusiness development and rural transformation by establishing agricultural-specific economic zones. The programme targets 100,000 direct beneficiaries (90% smallholders; 10% small processors/ traders/service providers) Second, the Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP), launched in 2016, US$ 329.00 million programme of the Government of Nigeria with funding from IFAD.

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