UN Secretary-General António Guterres has approved a high level session for Nigeria during the stocktaking moment, as part of the side events during the two-day world food security programme in Rome.
Mr Nebeolisa Anako, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning Abuja, disclosed this at the meeting of National Steering Committee on Implementation of the Food Systems Transformation Pathway in Nigeria on Friday in Awka.
He said the UN secretary-general conveyed the approval through the Food Systems Coordination Hub of the global body.
Anako, who said the Rome event would hold between July 24 and 26, added that it would be chaired by President Bola Tinubu or his vice, Kashim Shettima.
The high-level session, it was gathered, would be a platform to bring world leaders, captains of agro-allied industries, investors and private food related organisations together for advancing global food security agenda.
Anako said discussion at the event would be on innovative financing for the food system transformation, pathway and means to attract private sector investment in the food systems, diaspora and donors’ intervention.
He added that the organisers of the Rome event had also approved another side event.
The theme of the event is “Scaling up multi-stakeholders’ collaboration and investments in the implementation of the food systems transformation pathways in Nigeria.”
It will showcase the national strategy that is unifying all states through geopolitical zones on implementation of the pathways.
He called on participants to bring to the table, robust ideas and initiatives that would complement comprehensive report on the implementation of Food Systems Transformation Pathways in Nigeria.
He said the meeting would be the first to be held physically after the virtual inauguration on April 20 by the immediate past Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba.
Anako called on participants to come up with robust ideas and initiatives that would make Nigeria achieve successful implementation of the food systems transformation pathways that would serve as model for other countries.
According to him, Nigeria was rated across the globe as champion in the implementation process by the United Nations Food Systems coordination hub.
He commended efforts of the lead partners and UN agencies, including World Food Programme, WFP, Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO, and International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, and Grand Alliance for Improved Nutrition, GAIN, for their support.
Mrs Dede Ekuoe, Country Director, IFAD, urged participants to contribute towards achieving food system pathway in the country.
According to Ekwoe, in line with its mandate, IFAD supported the food system transformation agenda by enhancing smallholder farmers’ productivity, profitability and access to markets, fostering the economic empowerment of rural youth and women.
Dr Foster Ihejiofor, Anambra State Commissioner for Agriculture, said Nigeria needed to improve food production to enhance the living conditions of the populace.
“We must adopt multi-angle food production system that is eco-friendly, considering the impact of climate change,” he said.
The National Convener, Mr Famiran Sanjo, said after the Awka meeting, participants would proceed to Uzanu Farm in Edo for a robust meeting ahead of the Rome event.
The meeting was attended by permanent secretaries from nine states – Edo, Anambra, Enugu, Kano, Lagos, Osun, Borno, Kwara and Akwa Ibom.
They are to coordinate implementation of the 78 priority action plans for food system transformation agenda in the 36 states and the FCT.