Farmers
Farmers

FG signs MoU with SASAKAWA Africa to minimize post-harvest losses

The  FederalGovernment of Nigeria has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (Mou) with the Sasakawa Africa Association (SAASG2000). The Mou is to deepen, expand, consolidate and sustain the developed and proven extension models being delivered to the Nigerian smallholders farmers and also to realize the overall Nigerian economic objective as enshrined in the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP)

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Sasakawa collaboration implementation strategy was further reviewed to achieve better results under six thematic areas  namely ,Post-Harvest and Agro Processing(PHAP), Crop Productivity Enhancement (CPE), Monitoring Evaluation Learning and Sharing (MELS),Sasakawa Fund for Extension Education (SAFE) and Management..

Speaking at the event in Abuja, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammad Sabo Nanono, said that the collaboration would improve the capacity building and support extension staff towards assisting small holders farmers in Nigeria.

Alhaji Nanono also noted that collaboration effort with Sasakawa would focus on transfer of appropriately tested and acceptable knowledge know –how and technological packages on selected agricultural commodity value chain. It will also benefit commercially oriented smallholder farmers, particularly women and youth and ultimately improve the country’s agricultural productivity and production, food security and nutrition, as well as  bring about the reduction of post- harvest losses’’.

He pledged the Federal Government’s support for Sasaakwa initiatives in Nigeria, which he said was in line with President Muhammad Buhari’s Next Level Agenda of achieving food security and economic growth in Nigeria.

In his remarks, the Executive Director, NIPPON Foundation, Japan’s largest private philanthropic Organization and the major financing institution backing Sasakawa, Ichiro Kabasawa, said that the organization would lead in influencing the inclusive transformation of African Agriculture towards empowering smallholder-farmers and sustain  increased productivity and income in response to market demand.

 He further said that Nigeria has the potential to do more by increasing its investments in nutrition and help to secure the health and well-being of mothers and children, stating that it would lead to better economic growth for the country.

Kabasawa informed that ‘’ as at December 2018, the program promoted demand – driven and value – chain – oriented curriculum in 26 institutions (24 universities and two agricultural colleges), across nine African countries including Nigeria. He added that in 2019,Sasakwa Africa Association (SAA) has made a strategic shift that allows organization changes to make SAA interventions more effective and efficient with better synergy and coordination’’

 Earlier in her welcome address, the Director, Federal Department of Agriculture Extension, Mrs Karima Babangida, pointed out that the collaboration is improving the productivity and strengthening extension delivery for 2018/2019 cropping season in six existing states namely Ogun (rice and cassava), Cross River (rice and cassava), Katisna (Maize and Cotton, Anambra (Rice and cassava) Gombe (rice maize) and Kogi (Cassava).

She further informed that six Universities namely:Ahmadu Bello University, Zaira, Bayero University ,Kano, Adamawa State University , University of llorin, Kwara, Federal University ,Dutse, Usmanu Danfodio University ,Sokoto have also  benefitted from the collaboration under SAFE thematic area.

Ezeaja Ikemefuna

For: Director, Information (FMARD