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World Bank, partners plan $500m to bridge agric data gap in Nigeria, others

A global multi-institutional collaboration has concluded plans to deploy a US$500 million fund for engendering smartness in agricultural development and policy conceptualization through credible data…

A global multi-institutional collaboration has concluded plans to deploy a US$500 million fund for engendering smartness in agricultural development and policy conceptualization through credible data gathering.

Through an internationally conceived 50×2030 initiative, the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) have signed an agreement to, in 10 years, commit the sum of US$500 million towards data gathering to stem agricultural production without solid information base.

Expected gains from the 50×2030 initiative include among others, increased agricultural productivity, enhanced livelihoods and development of informed, smart and virile agricultural policies.

The programme aims to build capacity to enable data-driven policies and decision-making.

The partnership through the 50×2030 Initiative would directly impact 50 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America by 2030.

In Nigeria, the mandate for implementing the 50×2030 Initiative is the Agro Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) project.

ACReSAL is an agency of the federal government supported by the World Bank having a mandate of environmental, agriculture and water resources management.

Through ACreSAL, the federal government plans to check the menace of desertification, restore degraded lands, develop special ecosystems and catalyse sustainable agricultural production in Nigeria’s 19 northern states and the FCT, Abuja.

The initiative will help achieve food security, sustainability and climate change by building stronger national agricultural data systems.

The Project Task Team Leader, AGReSAL, Dr Joy Ighanya Agene, said the initiative holds great promises including among others, taming desertification, stemming the shrinking of the Lake Chad, removing climate change-induced pastoral nomadism that keep unleashing farmers-herders clashes and insecurity.

Addressing a team of strategic experts drawn locally and internationally, Agene explained the need for contributions from stakeholders who would enliven the initiative.

Funding for the 50/2030 Initiative is planned to be sustainable. It will be sourced through participatory contribution. Governments of the participatory nations have to make available 70 per cent of the funding if they are to unlock the remaining 30 per cent funding from the developmental partners.

The national data-gathering exercise is scheduled to hold between October 2024 and April 2025. The sourced data are planned after analysis, to be ready for use six months after the end of the exercise.

It would be recalled that in preparation for the Data collection exercise, ACReSAL organised a two-day training for all its officers from across the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory and stakeholders between April 24 and 25 2024.