Stakeholders Fault Proposed N362.9bn Agriculture Budget For 2024

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A joint conference involving ActionAid Nigeria (AAN), Small-Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON), and various agricultural sector stakeholders scrutinised and criticised the proposed 2024 agriculture budget totalling N362.9 billion.
Held in Abuja on Saturday, the collective voice of groups like ONE, the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), and the Non-State Actors Coalition (CNC) highlighted concerns about the meagre allocation of funds to the agricultural sector, representing only 1.32% of the total Federal Government budget.
Describing the allocated budget as insufficient, the consortium emphasised the urgent need to prioritise robust support for the agricultural sector, given its potential to transform the economy and provide significant employment opportunities for the nation’s youth.
Azubike Nwokoye, AAN’s Programme Manager for Food and Agriculture, stressed the importance of elevating agriculture within the national budget, citing its capacity to stimulate economic growth and offer substantial employment to young people.
“For the past seven years, the agriculture sector has consistently received less than two per cent of the overall budget. However, empirical evidence has not shown a direct correlation between the allocated resources and the sector’s social benefits,” Nwokoye remarked.
Highlighting the real value of the agricultural budget, Nwokoye noted that due to a 21.4% inflation rate, the N362.9 billion allocation would effectively reduce to about N285 billion.
Mrs. Mercy Nnanna, Secretary of SWOFON FCT Chapter, underlined the conference’s purpose, emphasising the necessity to review how the sector is funded and positioned for growth, employment generation, domestic food security, and the export promotion of quality processed agricultural goods.
The discussion delved into key aspects such as budget sufficiency, alignment with the CAADP framework, support for smallholder farmers, women, and youths, and allocations for critical agricultural components including irrigation, climate resilience, sustainable agriculture, and value chain development.
The stakeholders also focused on access to credit, extension services, and measures to reduce post-harvest losses, underscoring the need for comprehensive support and strategic budgeting to fortify the agricultural sector.


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