The World Food Day is usually been marked around the world on the 16th of October every year by organisations that are concerned with agriculture and food security. The date was chosen, because it was the day the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations was founded in 1945. The theme for this year’s celebration was “Change the future of Migration. Invest in food security and rural development”. Different themes are usually been given every year to highlight areas in need of action and also provide a common focus.

CISCOPE, with support from Oxfam marked the day this year with series of activities on the platform of Voices for Food Security (VFS). Voices for Food Security campaign is a national lobby platform by an amalgamation of small scale farmer’s associations, civil society organisations and networks across Nigeria.

 Despite abundant land resources, it is estimated that 53.6 million Nigerians go to bed hungry every day, so the campaign is meant to empower small-scale farmers from being passive spectators, to demand right to consultation on government policies and programmes as well as insists on service effectiveness in the agriculture sector so as to overcome food insecurity. In the last budget, with exception to a few state governments, the federal government allocated a meagre 2% of its entire budget to the agriculture sector, this is a far cry from the 10% benchmark set in the 2003 Maputo declaration which Nigeria is a signatory to.

 It is also observed that women form about 60-80% of farmers, but get little assistance from government and have restricted access to land, so the campaign seeks for enabling legislation to protect their rights and recognise their contributions.

This year’s celebration began with a radio and television program, with invited celebrities present on the show. They spoke on the need for government and other concerned stakeholders to increase investment in the agriculture sector. There was a seminar held for small scale investors in the sector, farmers, civil society organisations and representatives from the ministry of agriculture at the Nyako conference hall, Yola at midday, then there was a musical concert at the Ribadu square to close the event. Everyone present at these events appended their signatures to the petition to government for increase in investment in agriculture in the 2018 budget.  With these efforts it is believed that government and all concerned would heed the call and the envisaged improvement will be visible in the coming year. Thank you. Ekene Maduka (Program Assistant, CISCOPE) writes from Yola.

…towards a poverty-free Nigeria


logo mainCivil Society Coalition for Poverty Eradication (CISCOPE) is a grouping of over eighty five (85) Nigerian civil society organizations with at least a member in every state of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

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