The Country Director of Actionaid Nigeria Ene Obi said Nigeria has suffered 3.5 Trillion naira due to post harvest losses annually, while adding that other ECOWAS member states are suffering the same loss.
She stated this during the the 3rd ECOWAS agriculture finance budget submit in Abuja.
According to her, there is need to bring women and small holder farmers in the sub region together to alleviate post harvest losses in the continent.
” West African countries use to be the hall fame in terms of exportation of food to the world but today we are almost at the zero level.Gone are the days when we use to have pyramids, like groundnut pyramid in Nigeria, and Cocoa pyramid at the sub-region level.”
She indicated that the summit is meant to review and highlight the last report and performance of the ECOWAS countries, and also the current situation of agriculture in Nigeria and sub-region, and how best to increase the quality and quantity of agriculture budget for the 2022 and 2023 fiscal year.
“As of 2019 binary report only Ghana and Mali were on track in the sub-region, but we are hopeful that by the time 2022 binary report will be presented in February, other West Africa countries like Nigeria will be on track due to farmers compensation and engagement process.”
“As Civil Society it our responsibility to keep track, and also hold government accountable in transparency. If we do not do it, no one else will do so”.
Meanwhile the International Project Manager for PFA public finance of Agriculture, Mrs Constance Okeke said there is need for the government to keep to the 10% commitment allocation to agriculture project .
She added that the key areas that will promote agriculture growth and development are: access to finance for women in agriculture, access to input for finance and technology.
“Although currently the third binary report is in progress to be published in February 2022 by the African Union. Non state actors will assist Civil Society to generate data as well to add to whatever the government is submitting to the African Union”.
The Project Manager encouraged everyone to watch out for the report as it is critical to agriculture development.
Furthermore, the Chairman of the ECOWAS Non state actors coalition Mr Henry Augustine Roberts indicated that to avoid food crisis in West African, and indeed Nigeria, there is need to increase productivity.”We need to look at the quality of the food that is being produced for both consumption and exportation purposes. We need to sell and gather food items, pay for services and other logistics”.