By Ihiovi Bello
Kogi State Government has reiterated its commitment to ensuring food security to wipe out hunger and poverty in the state through adequate attention to the development of the Agriculture sector.
Mr David Apeh, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, gave the assurance at a programme to commemorate the 2021 World Food Day titled: “Our Actions Are Our Future” on Thursday in Lokoja.
The event was organised by ActionAid Nigeria and Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID) in collaboration with the State Ministry of Agriculture.
The Commissioner said that the government demonstrated the commitment through timely payment of Counterpart Funds for development partners and donor agencies interventions in the Agriculture sector.
“Governor Yahaya Bello has done so much in the fight against hunger, poverty and disease since he came on board through prompt payment of counterparts funding to international donor agencies in order to ensure and promote food security in the state”, he said.
Apeh noted that the journey of the state’s agricultural development had been eventful and “very rewarding” and assured that the sector would continue to receive topmost priority attention from government now and in the future.
In her goodwill message at the event, the state commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Fatima Buba urged women in the state to key into agriculture as the sector serves the main source for human survival.
She commended Gov. Yahaya Bello’s efforts towards boosting agricultural activities in the state and thanked ActioinAid Nigeria for sponsoring this year’s World Food Day Celebration in Kogi.
In her message, Hajia Safiya Yahaya, Kogi State Coordinator and National Auditor-General of Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON) commended Gov. Yahaya Bello for according women and youths recognition.
She urged government to hear their voice and always ensure implementation of the budgetary allocations to the women saying that the N100 million earmarked for women in yearly budgets be released to them.
Earlier in her opening remarks, Mrs Halima Sadiq, Executive Director, PIBCID, said the programme was part of her organisation’s commitment towards ensuring food security sustainability and development of the Agricultural sector in the State.
“We celebrate this day to appreciate efforts by Small Holder Farmers especially Women in Agriculture who against all odds including COVID-19 Pandemic, ensured a reduction in the world hunger.
“This activity is aimed at creating global awareness and challenges of malnutrition as a result of sufferings from hunger and to further encourage nutrition sensitive Agriculture for citizens’ health and well being given that a healthy nation is a wealthy nation”, she explained.