This National Stakeholders Consultative Meeting on the 2023 Agriculture Budget is aimed at facilitating conversations amongst key stakeholders connecting the continental framework, the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) targets and Government intentions within the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy (NATIP) in Nigeria and strengthening citizens’ participation towards making 2023 Agriculture budget responsive for food security and wealth creation.
The meeting provided stakeholders especially smallholder women farmers, opportunity to participate in agriculture policy and budget making processes resulting to changes in priority budget line items that are pro-poor and even in the approach of government’s implementation of programmes and projects.
A total number of 102 participants attended (52 physical while 50 participants actively participated in the event through Zoom in all 2 days).The participants included the Senate Committee on Agriculture & Rural Development, House of Representative Committee on Agricultural Production and Services, Office of the Auditor General of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), State Ministries of Budget and Economic Planning, and State Ministries of Agriculture and representative of Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF). Also present were – members of Farmers’ Organizations, representatives of Small-Scale Women Farmers Organization in Nigeria (SWOFON), and National Extension Research and Liaison. Oxfam, ONE Campaign, Heinrich Boell Stiftung, Media, Academia, Research & members of the various Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) were also present.
- Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) remain committed to collaborating with Non-State Actors. Such collaboration improves the civic space – allowing for new relationships, and practical, innovative, and sustainable solutions for the sector. This should be sustained for more inclusive and responsive agriculture policy and budget-making processes in Nigeria.
- Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, for their collaboration in organizing this meeting.
- We commend the Auditor General of the Federation and his Office, for their commitment and effort to ensure accountability, transparency, and openness in the Nigerian public finance systems. We commend his attending this event, promoting improved budgeting practices for the agricultural sector, and calling on the relevant ministries to show fiscal responsibility in the management of the agricultural budget.
- We commend the Chairman Senate Committee on Agriculture & Rural development and his counterpart, Chairman House Committee on Agricultural Production and Services, for fully participating in this event and for their continuous commitment to improving Agricultural budget legislation and increasing the allocation to the sector. We applaud their commitment & effort towards ensuring timely release for the agricultural sector and supporting the sector to pull in more private sector funding for agricultural sustainability– especially for the smallholder farmers.
During the consultation, participants made the following observations as core issues to be addressed in the 2023 Agriculture budget and meeting the targets of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), and the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Policy (NATIP).:
1. The Nigerian food sector is confronting new emerging challenges such as the ongoing Ukraine – Russia war, affecting input prices and availability of staples such as wheat. The challenges of increased armed banditry, farmer-herder clashes, climate change, flood, hazardous pesticides, and gender inequality persist, without deliberate rethink of our practices and approaches towards our food and nutrition security, the federal and state governments will not be able to eradicate these agriculture economic growth barriers.
2. During the 3rd Biennial Review Process, ActionAid trained smallholder women farmers, Activista, Partners and other CSOs on the use of the Non-State Actors (NSAs) Value Addition Biennial Review Toolkit (VABKIT) and supported them to generate smallholder women farmers’ state level data (related to the BR indicators) to feed into the Report of Nigeria for the 3rd Biennial Review (BR) Exercise on the Implementation of Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).
3. The data/information collected through the VABKIT that reflected the lived realities of smallholder women farmers across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) shows that nationwide, smallholder women farmers currently have only:
- 18% access to processing facilities
- 16.60% access to storage facilities
- 13.50% access to off-takers/access to markets
- 9.60% access to transportation for agricultural produce
- 42.30% access to trainings
- On Extension Services, smallholder women farmers have access to only 5.26% farm demonstrations and 19.47% farmers field schools.
- On agricultural credit, they have access to less than 23% of existing credit facilities
- On Agricultural Insurance, smallholder women farmers have only 4.77% access.
- On access to and control over land, about 59% of them have access to land, 29.77% have control, while only 11.23% are engaged in land governance discussions.
- While government is making effort to improve the space for more Public Private Partnerships arrangements in Nigeria’s agriculture sector, smallholder women farmers’ access to such schemes across the country remains below 27%.
4. Nigeria’s food import bill is increasing & the highest imports of agricultural goods into the country was recorded in 2021, as products valued at N2.74tn were imported while
Our post-harvest losses is estimated at N3.5 trillion annually with each state and LGA having its own large share.
5. Despite the challenges facing the Nigerian agricultural sector, the sector remains the largest contributor to Nigeria’s GDP in 2nd quarter 2022 at 23.3%; beyond the contributions of Trade (16.8%), Telecommunication (15%), Manufacturing (8.7%) and the Oil and Gas sector (6.3%). The agricultural sector has the largest potential to lead millions of Nigerians out of poverty. Thus, the sector should be given utmost priority in national economic policies and national and subnational budgets.
6. Regrettably, the late releases of fund to the sector continues to impede the capacity of Federal and State governments to drive socio-economic development including food and nutrition security within the policy thrust of the diversification of the economy towards agriculture.
7. Though the capital projects utilization in the agriculture sector in 2021 seems to have improved significantly, but due to late budget releases, it can hardly be said that these allocations largely supported smallholder farmers especially women who are still confronted with challenges of the very limited access to credits, farm insecurity in the form of banditry and herders-farmers clashes, natural disasters, late budget releases and crowd-outs by political farmers and contractors who are the budget first liners.
8. Nigeria’s agricultural sector is largely conventional farming that depends largely on toxic chemical pesticides. Government budget spending through the FMARD and the CBN Farmer’s Anchor Borrower programs favour chemical pesticides over organic bio-agro inputs, even though these toxic pesticides are highly hazardous to humans, the environment, and biodiversity and cause a loss in foreign revenue resulting in food export rejection.
- We call on Federal and State Executives, National and State Houses of Assembly to Scale Up Public Investment in Agriculture, and ensure timely consideration, passage, and total budget releases as a strategic approach to increase food production, reduce hunger and poverty and achieve the Maputo/Malabo Commitments.
- Having launched the new national agricultural policy (National Agricultural Transformation and Innovation Policy-NATIP), the 3rd National Agriculture Investment Plan (NAIP III) should be developed immediately with stakeholders to guide the implementation of NATIP aligning targets and indicators to the Biennial Review indicators to ensure Nigeria is on track in meeting the Malabo Commitments.
- As approved by the 44th National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development (NCARD); the three tiers of government should commit 10% of their annual budget to the agriculture sector to meet the 10% Maputo/Malabo Declaration required to support at least 6% growth rate for the sector as postulated in the CAADP framework. There should be political will to allocate at least 10% of annual budgets and actuals of revenues to the agriculture sector with appropriate budget lines so that Nigeria will be on track in the next Biennial Reporting to the African Union Heads of States and Government in line with the Malabo Declaration and Commitments of 2014.
- FMARD, State Ministries of Agriculture and other Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) should consistently create budget lines to ensure wider stakeholder consultation in the budget formulation, provide continued coordination and the implementation of the Stakeholders Consultative Meeting on the Agriculture Budget annually at the Federal and State levels.
- The 2023 and subsequent years agriculture budget should be gender sensitive and responsive by providing line items for the implementation of the National Gender Policy in Agriculture that address specific challenges that affect women farmers different from men as well as avoid lumping up budget for women farmers and other groups such as youths.
- Federal and State governments should allocate more public investments in agriculture to address the strategic areas of investments that would increase the agricultural GDP to at least 6%. These strategic areas of investments include Extension Services, Access to Credit, Women in Agriculture, Youth in Agriculture, Appropriate Labour-Saving Technologies, Inputs, Post-Harvest Losses Reduction Supports (processing facilities, storage facilities, trainings, market access, etc.), Climate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture (CRSA)/Agroecology, Research and Development, Monitoring and Evaluation, as well as Coordination.
- The agriculture sector requires a separate budget cycle to enable FMARD achieve its mandate. Buffer funds from sources such as Consolidated Oil Revenue, Oil Revenue Surplus, Natural Resource Funds, Climate Resource Funds, and the National Agricultural Development Fund (Establishment) Bill, 2019 being proposed by the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development should be considered given the strategic importance of the sector. Additionally, given the time bound nature of farming activities, agricultural budgets must be released on time and fully to enable farmers plant in due season.
- FMARD has committed to this. State Ministries of Agriculture should create a yearly Strengthening Access to Credit budget line: This funding should focus on getting consultants or consultancy firms to support women, youths and farmers living with disability cooperatives to be able to navigate the too cumbersome access to credit in Nigeria. The team or consultancy firm will handhold the cooperatives to access existing CBN agricultural credit facilities through preparing their business proposals, interfacing, and negotiating with BOA, Bank of Industry, NIRSAL, commercial and microfinance banks. The team or consultancy firm will ensure that the cooperatives accesses such facilities and other services like extension, insurance, etc. and even market access and they are able to pay back at the end of each circle, etc.
- The GES should be re-introduced, and the budget should be increased to address the inputs gaps experienced by smallholder farmers, especially women.
- FMARD and State Ministries of Agriculture should create a yearly budget line for Support for smallholder women farmers.
- National Centre for Agricultural Mechanization (NCAM) that is established for the purpose of adaptive research leading to design and development of efficient agricultural machines and technologies to reduce drudgery and improve the quality of agricultural production is not adequately funded; should be adequately funded and strengthened
- Small modular processing and storage facilities in communities based on different commodities should be a good approach to reducing our post-harvest losses in the 2023 agriculture budget and subsequent years, as the larger Staple Crops Processing Zones (SCPZ) are most likely not to reach remote areas.
- Considering the agricultural risk; rising insecurity in farms; farm raiding, cattle destructions, and kidnappers, climate and other natural disasters, farmers are not encouraged to continue farm practices without risk covers. Hence, both Federal and subnational governments should promote the enrolment of agricultural insurance policies for smallholder farmers, while challenging the poor security issues that threatens our farms.
- States should develop their own Agricultural Investment Plan. This will enable the efforts at the states and local government levels to be recognized in the overall determination of the country’s commitment to the CAADP and enable accurate data for the Biennial Review (BR) Reporting.
- FMARD should begin to develop pesticide policies and legislation that ensure that the most toxic pesticides are prohibited, and phased out in Nigeria, and a significant shift made towards sustainable farm systems like agroecology. To achieve this, the government needs to develop a safe sustainable food strategy that reduces the use of highly toxic synthetic chemical pesticides by 50% by 2030; 25% by 2040, a maximum of 5% by 2050 and strong support to be given to farmers in their transition towards agroecology.
- FMARD, CBN and NIRSAL need to engage and educate all farmers groups, listed vendors, manufacturers, and importers of agrochemicals about the negative impact of Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs) on Nigeria’s public health, environment, and foreign revenue. FMARD, CBN, Bank of Agriculture (BOA), Bank of Industry (BOI) and FMARD should mandate agrochemical dealers in their anchor-borrower programmes to remove all HHPs from their programmes and encourage them to supply more organic inputs such as biopesticides, organic fertilizers etc.
- FMARD and State Ministries of Agriculture should increase budget allocation for organic inputs, bio-pesticides, and agroecology. To ensure the successful implementation of agroecological projects, the federal and states government need to be deliberate in collaboration with organisations and institutions that have proven record of successful agroecological farms across Nigeria.
- There is need to strengthen the monitoring of implementation of Agricultural projects in the budget by all relevant stakeholders such as FMARD, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, State Ministries of Agriculture and Agriculture Committees in the NASS and State Assemblies, Farmers and CSOs using an adapted CAADP Results measurement framework and reports documented, shared, and reviewed to enhance lessons learning and improvement in budget implementation.
- AAN to transmit Communique to relevant MDAs and Institutions as well as all participants
- The communique is to be accompanied with the shadow budget developed and advisory notes as well as request for advocacy visits
- State teams headed by Directors present at the meeting will lead advocacy at state-levels
This communique is accompanied with the Shadow Budget (proposed budget) and advisory notes developed by stakeholders during the Stakeholders Consultative Meeting on the 2023 Agriculture Budget.
List of Organizations, Ministries, Departments and Agencies, and Institutes that participated in the Stakeholders Consultative Meeting on the 2023 Agriculture Budget
- Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development
- House Committee on Agricultural Production and Services
- Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Abuja
- Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Abuja
- Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAGoF)
- Budget Office of the Federation
- Ministry of Finance, Budget & Economic Planning, Nasarawa State
- Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, Nasarawa State
- Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), Kogi State
- Ministry of Agriculture & Animal Husbandry, Gombe State
- Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Delta State
- Ministry of Finance & Economic Planning, Delta State
- Ministry of Agriculture, Kwara State
- Ministry of Budget & Economic Planning, Kwara State
- Ministry of Finance, Budget & Economic Planning, Kogi State
- Ministry of Agriculture, Bauchi State
- Ministry of Budget & Economic Planning, Bauchi State
- Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, Ondo State
- Budget Planning and Development Partner Coordination Office, Gombe State
- Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry, Ondo State
- FCT Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat (ARDS)
- Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ebonyi State
- Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget, Ebonyi State
- ActionAid Nigeria
- ONE Campaign
- Solidaridad Nigeria
- Renaissance Care and Empowerment Foundation (RECEF)
- ATEKO Women and Girls Foundation
- Youth and Women Health Empowerment Initiative (YAWHEP)
- Hope Foundation for the Lonely
- DANDALIN MATASA
- Wildan Foundation
- Women Empowerment Initiative (WEIN)
- Fahimta Women and Youth Development Initiative (FAWOYDI)
- Civil Society Legislation Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
- Keen and Care Initiative (KCI)
- Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON)
- Association of Small-Scale Agro Producers in Nigeria (ASSAPIN)
- Small Holder Women Farmers Association of Nigeria (SHOWFAN)
- Trade Network Initiative (TNI), Abuja
- Environmental and Rural Mediation Center (ENVIRUMEDIC), Delta State
- African Center for Environmental and Rural Development (ACERD)
- Community Empowerment and Development Initiative (CEDI)
- Neferok Development Initiative (NeDI)
- Initiative for Grassroot Advancement in Nigeria (INGRA), Kogi State
- Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID), Kogi State
- Youth and Women’s Health Empowerment Initiative (YAWHEP), Kogi State
- Hands Across Africa Development Initiative (HAADI), Kogi State
- Lift Care Foundation (LUCAF), Kogi
- Youth and Women’s Health Empowerment Initiative (YAWHEP) Kogi
- Centre for Community Empowerment and Poverty Eradication (CCEPE), Kwara State
- Meadow Community Development Outreach (MCDO), Kwara State
- Fulfilling Dreams Foundation (FDF), Kwara State
- Worthy Life Education & Health Foundation, Kwara State
- FEMCOM Communications, Kwara State
- Fresh & Young Brains Development Initiative (FBIN)
- Participatory Development Alternatives (PDA), Ebonyi State
- Loving Hands Initiatives, Ebonyi State
- Initiative for Social Change in Africa (VOFCA), Ebonyi State
- Community Activistas, Ebonyi State
- Activista Nigeria
- Development and Integrity Intervention Goal (DIG) Foundation, Ebonyi State
- Community Heritage Watch
- The Speaking Voice