The Federal government has expressed the need for support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to invest in the agricultural sector of Nigeria, to help reduce the food crisis in the country.
The Vice President, Kashim Shettima, made this call on Wednesday, during a meeting with a delegation from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, led by the President of its Global Growth & Opportunity Division, Mr Rodger Voorhies, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Shettima noted that the country requires a strategic partnership to accelerate the process of agricultural productivity in the country, as well as promote food security.
According to the Vice President, while speaking on the steps taken by the government on the food crisis in the country, the government is investing significantly in agricultural produce; however, it also requires the partnership of others to accelerate the process.
According to the recent release of the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria’s food inflation is currently the highest of the inflationary rate in the country, standing at a staggering 31.52%.
Similarly, the Food and Agricultural Organisation had projected that 26.5 million Nigerians to face hunger in the next year.
Speaking about the development, Shettima said: “We are investing heavily in agricultural innovation and best agricultural practices to enhance productivity.
“However, we need the expertise and resources of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate our progress.
“If a nation is not independent in food production, it remains a dependent nation. So, I am soliciting your partnership and attention. Join us in our drive towards combating poverty and hunger in sub-Saharan Africa as you did in Southeast Asia,” Shettima said.
Also speaking during the meeting, Mr Voorhies said his team’s objective is to enhance existing collaborations with Nigeria while also exploring opportunities for new partnerships with the new administration, especially in priority sectors.
He commended the Tinubu administration’s agenda on food security and healthcare delivery while acknowledging the VP’s leadership and commitment to nutrition and agricultural transformation in the country.
Voorhies however assured the Tinubu’s administration of the foundation’s commitment and readiness to support efforts aimed at achieving set goals and objectives.