Africa

Nigeria to host Commodity Fund meeting next week

The Citizen Bureau Chief Arusha. The annual meeting of the Common Fund for Commodities’ Governing Council will take place in Abuja, Nigeria, next week.

In a statement, CFC managing director Ali Mchumo said yesterday that Nigeria was preferred as the host country for the November 23-24 meeting because of tremendous support economic achievements that have seen it overtake many countries in the continent, especially in the last 20 years.

The Amsterdam-based CFC finances commodity development projects for smallholder farmers as well as small and medium-sized enterprises in commodity production, processing and trade in developing and least developed countries.

CFC’s partners and agencies, especially those undertaking projects in applied agricultural research, have achieved tremendous successes, major scientific breakthroughs and innovative practices, according to Mr Mchumo.

“While the oil sector has contributed greatly to the success, many Nigerians know that sustainable economic development will only happen, when the country realises its huge potential in the agricultural sector,” he said.

“CFC has played a strategic role in contributing to Nigeria’s effort towards increased productivity and performance of major agricultural commodities, such as oil palm, cocoa, sorghum, rice, rubber and others.”

As a founding member of the fund in 1989, Nigeria has benefitted from some of the most successful commodity interventions and outcomes, and this is why its role and position has enhanced the work and project initiatives undertaken by the CFC throughout Africa.

Last year, Nigeria came forward and agreed to host this year’s annual meeting of the CFC’s Governing Council as part of the country’s 50th Independence Anniversary activities.

According to him, the fund has financed a range of important commodity development projects in Nigeria and that it has been a contributing partner in the country’s burgeoning commodities sector.

The country has gradually concentrated on developing the sector.

As a member-country, Nigeria has also played a key role in the fund’s regional cooperation initiatives that have had positive outcomes in employment generation, food security and poverty alleviation; while enabling local commodity producers to become more integrated in the global economy and increasing the asset base, especially for smallholder producers.

CFC’s partners and agencies, especially those undertaking projects in applied agricultural research have achieved tremendous successes, major scientific breakthroughs and innovative practices in the cassava, cocoa, rice, groundnuts, rubber and other sectors, working closely in cooperation with leading research institutes based locally in Nigeria.

The total CFC financial commitment for projects involving Nigeria, including other participating countries in West Africa, is $35.5 million.

Several new CFC projects recently approved for financing are ongoing; and overall nearly 30 projects have been implemented in the country. Nigeria also has benefited directly from various agricultural measures that have largely assisted commodity agro-processors and developed market access and expanded networks for trade, contributing to increased productivity and the economic vitality of diverse commodity sectors and venture enterprises in the country.

Last year, seeking to address larger, regional integration issues, such as transportation and infrastructure systems, marketing and trade expansion, the fund and the Nigerian Shippers Council coordinated an international expert meeting in Calabar, which provided an effective platform for the main stakeholders to exchange ideas on how best to resolve issues involving the transportation sector.

The meeting explored pragmatic
policy and technical solutions related the high costs in the transportation of export commodities originating from Africa.

ICF has 106 members. Its mandate is to support commodity-dependent developing countries to improve and diversify commodities production and trade

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