DFID to invest £30m in climate change programme in Nigeria
The Department for International Development has promised to invest £30 million in climate change programme in Nigeria.
This was contained in a statement issued by DFID’s Director of Information, Tony Ohaeri, on Friday in Abuja.
The statement said DFID’s Head of Office, Ben Meller, gave the promise when he paid a visit to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh.
The statement quoted Meller as saying: “DFID would invest the sum of £30 million in climate change programme in Nigeria and we are ready to give financial supports to the rural areas through the Bank of Agriculture.
“Challenges such as climate change, finance, infrastructure among others are militating against sustainable growth of the sector.
“DFID recognises the agricultural sector as the mainstay of the Nigerian economy giving the dwindling nature of the price of crude oil.
“The Department would collaborate with the Federal Government in its efforts to grow and develop the country’s agricultural sector.”
It quoted Meller as saying that this would help to address the problem of funds associated with small scale farming in the rural areas.
The statement quoted the minister as commending the existing relationship between the ministry and DFID.
Ogbe described the Department’s initiatives in poverty alleviation and climate change as “laudable”.
The minister disclosed that three million cashew and cocoa trees would be planted annually to mitigate the effects of climate change on agriculture.
He urged more collaboration between the ministry and DFID to improve livelihood of rural dwellers.
Meanwhile, the minister has advised stakeholders in the agriculture sector to ensure hygiene in the production and storage of produce.
The statement said Ogbeh gave the advice when he received a delegation from Grain Pro Philipines Inc, led by its Nigerian representative, Prof. Ochapa Onazi.
The minister stressed the urgent need for the sector to evolve hygienic storage technology devoid of the aflatoxin and other harmful chemicals.
He explained that aflatoxin was a chemical that could get into the food crops during storage and endangered the lives of consumers.
Ogbe said the ministry would soon produce and introduce to famers jute bags for the package of food crops.
Earlier, Onazi said the company had manufactured Pro cocoon, a technological storage facility for grains and seeds with air tight and chemical free.
He said some units of the storage technology, which had a long period of storage ability, had been brought into the country for test-running.
Onazi said the technology had worked in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Kenya, adding that a proposal would be submitted to the minister for the introduction of the technology to farmers.