The race to achieve a minimum of 10% annual national budget allocation for Agriculture

Friday, September 2, 2022

The World Food Programme (WFP) acknowledges that "As many as 828 million people go to bed hungry every night; the number of those facing acute food insecurity has soared - from 135 million to 345 million - since 2019; and a total of 50 million people in 45 countries are teetering on the edge of famine."

Over the past decade, the food crisis has increased across the West African subregion, including in Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad and Mali. 

Between 2015 and 2022, the number of people in need of emergency food assistance nearly quadrupled, from 7 to 27 million.

"Organizing this stakeholders' consultative meeting on the 2023 Agriculture sector budget is timely. Holding the meeting ahead of the call for budget circulars will allow stakeholders to influence an increase in the annual national budget allocation to Agriculture sector from its current abysmal 1.7% in 2022 to at least 10% in 2023, in compliance with the Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared Prosperity and Improved Livelihoods," said Oxfam in Nigeria's Country Director, Dr. Vincent Ahonsi.

This stakeholders' consultative meeting on the 2023 Agriculture sector budget aims to facilitate more citizens' interest and inputs into influencing increased budget allocation for Agriculture in 2023 and beyond. It also seeks to increase stakeholders' understanding of the government's new agricultural policy - the National Agricultural Transformation and Innovation Plan (NATIP), and its connection to the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) target. 

"If Nigeria is to succeed in tackling the spiralling food insecurity and pervading hunger, the government needs to increase its annual agriculture budget to at least 10% and provide the public funding necessary to create fair, gender-just, and sustainable food systems. Particular focus can be on agroecological production that is inherently less dependent on imports of feed and agricultural inputs and more resilient to climate change impacts," said Dr. Ahonsi.

"Western governments need to put their money where their mouth is by freeing up resources through progressive taxation and appropriately taxing billionaires. We need to invest the proceeds in diverse, local, sustainable food production that helps global countries to become less dependent on food imports; and support smallholder food producers, especially women and the youth," said Dr. Ahonsi.