Stakeholders at the ActionAid 2022 budget analysis meeting in Abuja recently called on the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) to ensure full amounts are released to ensure loss reduction post-harvest.
Commending the ministry for specific allocations to tackle post-harvest losses, stakeholders strongly recommended effective coordination with relevant agencies and the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to support reduction of harvest losses. post-harvest losses across Nigeria.
He indicated a budget for post-harvest loss reduction support, which includes processing facilities, storage facilities, training, etc. and market access.
Post-harvest losses estimated in Nigeria are around 3.5 trillion naira per year.
âEssentially, the role of the lead ministry is to monitor and oversee the activities of other MDAs in the area. Therefore, we draw attention to the issue of results and their impact on sector development, which means that budget implementers of all MDAs should ensure that projects are monitored with results used to improve budget / project implementation and accurate data for Nigeria CAADP biennial report. to the African Union.
âThe first investment item of FMARD is the supply and installation of solar street lights in rural communities of the 6 geopolitical zones which appeared in 2021 for 720 million and in 2022 for 745 million. Going forward he
would be good to have the locations of these projects even if it is argued that these facilities are for different locations.
âThe above represents some of the fallacious methods in which budgets are expressed. The 2022 budget contains many of these budget lines which are repetitive, overloaded, unclear and very difficult to monitor or assess. Most of the time, budget makers deliberately group activities into budget lines just to make it difficult for even the best discerners to track and track expenses. These occur not only in the capital budget but also in recurring expenses, especially overheads. The importance of the latter in an economy struggling with more than 70% of its population living below the poverty line is that funds that would have been used effectively and efficiently to provide services to citizens are lost. For monitoring purposes, a budget line should answer the following questions: what, who, where, how, when and why? Anything that fails in these is questionable, âthe meeting said.
He further called for the timely publication of agricultural budgets knowing that most agricultural activities are seasonal and are determined by climatic conditions which vary from south to north in Nigeria.
Stakeholders urged the federal government to legislate storage funds for the agricultural sector to mitigate the effect of untimely release of funds.
âWe therefore call on the federal executives and the National Assembly to increase public investment in agriculture. Ensure timely consideration, adoption and full budget releases as a strategic approach to increase food production, reduce hunger and poverty and achieve the Maputo / Malabo commitment.
“Public investment in agriculture
agriculture should be expanded in the specific areas of extension services, access to credit, women in agriculture, youth in agriculture, appropriate labor-saving technologies , inputs, support for reducing post-harvest losses (processing facilities, storage facilities, training, market access, etc.), and Climate-Resilient Sustainable Agriculture (CRSA) / Agroecology.
He suggested that the Ministry of Agriculture create an annual budget line titled âStrengthening Access to Creditâ which is dedicated to support farmers such as women, youth and farmers living with cooperatives of people with disabilities to access existing CBN agricultural credit facilities through a specialized team or consulting firm. firm that prepares their business proposals, interfaces and negotiates with BOA, Bank of Industry, NIRSAL, commercial and microfinance banks, etc.
The meeting further called for the allocation of more funds to implementing agencies so that they can effectively carry out their functions and that the government should ensure that capital credits are adequately funded. .
âOver the years, the budget performance has been very poor, especially in the release of funds to complete the implementation. Only about 20% of the investment budget is released while almost 100% of recurrent expenditure is used. This means that the salaries and emoluments paid to the staff do not correspond to their results, ârevealed the examination.
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