Cablegate: Nigeria: New National Food Security Program
PP RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHUJA #1461/01 2111540
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 291540Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3486
INFO RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS 9661
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ABUJA 001461
DEPARTMENT FOR EE/TPP/ABT/ATP SPECK
DEPT PASS TO USTR-AGAMA
TREASURY FOR PETERS AND HALL
DOC FOR 3317/ITA/OA/KBURRESS, 3130/USFC/OIO/ANESA/DHARRIS
USDA/FAS FOR RON VERDONK, PATRICK PACKNETT
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR ETRD ECON EAID PREL NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: NEW NATIONAL FOOD SECURITY PROGRAM
REF: A. ABUJA 893
B. ABUJA 817
C. ABUJA 1314
D. ABUJA 1456
1. (U) Summary: The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water
Resources (MOA) has developed a new National Food Security Program
to address the inefficiencies in Nigeria's agricultural production
system and to ensure greater food security. In June 2008, the
National Council on Agriculture reviewed the program document and
developed implementation guidelines and timelines for the program.
The program includes provisions for establishing a guaranteed
minimum price for farmers, expanding the National Strategic Food
Reserve, and mechanizing agriculture, as well as other initiatives.
Successful implementation of the program will require not only
federal government support but also sufficient resources and buy-in
from state and local governments and the private sector. End
2. (U) MOA, on June 22-24, called an emergency meeting in Abuja of
the National Council on Agriculture following significant increases
in the prices of agricultural products. The Council is the
agricultural policy-making organ of the GON. The Minister of
Agriculture is the Chairman, and members include the Commissioners
of Agriculture from Nigeria's 36 states. Present at the meeting
were representatives of the National Assembly; All Farmers
Association of Nigeria; NGOs and other civil society organizations;
the Country Directors of the World Bank, Food and Agriculture
Organization, and the African Development Bank; and Agriculture
Attach representing the U.S Department of Agriculture's Foreign
Food Security Objectives
3. (U) Participants focused on the National Food Security Program
(NFSP). Core objectives are:
-- Short-term: Significantly increase agricultural productivity;
-- Medium-term: Expand large-scale production and improve storage
and processing capacity; and
-- Long-term: Increase Nigeria's foreign exchange earnings from
agricultural exports to 50 percent of total earnings.
Food Security Measures
4. (U) The NFSP outlines measures to modernize Nigerian agriculture
and to increase production for domestic use and exports by:
-- Establishing a Guaranteed Minimum Price (GMP) to reduce
fluctuations in production and prices of agricultural commodities.
-- Expanding the National Strategic Food Reserve capacity from
300,000 metric tons (MT) to one million MT.
-- Increasing agricultural mechanization by increasing Nigeria's
tractor density under public-private partnerships.
-- Increasing agricultural land mapping to enable farmers to secure
rights to land for long-term investment.
-- Strengthening agricultural extension services by training 10,000
unemployed youths annually for three years in collaboration with
federal and state colleges of agriculture.
-- Promoting the participation of the private sector in livestock
-- Providing irrigation facilities for all completed dams, which
will increase land under irrigation by 300,000 hectares.
-- Promoting the development of cottage industries and
agro-industrial parks for value addition and reduction in
-- Revitalizing cooperatives through public-private sector
collaboration and the establishment of specialized cooperatives in
each Local Government Area (LGA).
-- Increasing agricultural research and development including seed
development and certification; also, supporting research and
development of biotechnology.
5. (U) The NFSP proposes allocating at least 10 percent of federal
and state government annual budgets, as well as funding from the
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Natural Resource Fund, the Agricultural Development Fund, and the
Federal Government's Intervention Bond Issue Fund, which holds 200
billion naira ($1.7 billion) to modernize Nigerian agriculture.
6. (SBU) Successful implementation of this initiative will require
sustained federal government and private sector support, and
sufficient resources and buy-in from state and local governments.
However, continuing to maintain unproductive import bans on numerous
agricultural products despite high domestic food prices calls into
question the commitment to seriously address food security issues.
Trade and Agriculture Ministers have agreed to review these bans
(Reftel C and D). The goal of earning 50 percent of foreign
exchange from agriculture is unrealistic, except possibly in the
very long term. Nonetheless, if fully implemented, the Program can
have a major impact on food prices, employment, and sustainable
economic growth. USG Team Nigeria is engaged with MOA to identify
were we can be supportive (Reftel C and D).