By Ibrahim Salisu Hina.
Gombe State budget committee, has called on the State government to look into the proposed 2022 budget allocation for Agriculture, with a view to increasing it in line with governments vision of diversifying the economy away from oil.
The Acting Chairman, Budget Committee, Gombe, Mr Yahaya Atiku, made the call during a press briefing on the findings of the State’s 2022 proposed Agricultural budget analysis organized by the State’s Budget Committee, Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria, Hope foundation for the Lonely and Action Aid Nigeria, in Gombe.
According to the chairman, the State’s 2022 Agricultural budget allocation of only N3, 840,975,000.00 is 2.4 percent of the total amount of N154, 610,614,000.00 of Gombe State budget, a percentage allocation of 2.4 percent and is a decrease from 3.3 percent, N4, 057,150,000.00, in 2021 which falls short of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme, CAADP, benchmark of 10 percent.
He explained that against the background that stakeholders argue that the public spending in the agricultural sector is low and is also a far cry from achieving the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs 1 (End Poverty), SDGs 2 (Zero Hunger and Food Security), and SDGs 3 (Good Health and Well-being), It is therefore, very necessary to increase funding in the sector or else it will be a great very difficult to accomplish.
Mr Yahaya Therefore said there should be a steady and deliberate incremental commitment to Agriculture budget such that the 10% Malabo Declaration target will be reached within the next three or less years.
He advised the state government that Agricultural Development Programmes should also be well funded with critically needed Agriculture Research Development (ARD), logistics and technologies in line with the increased Budget, to encourage youth participation in the sector.
Mr Yahaya Atiku also urged Gombe state government on the potentials in the Dadinkowa Dam which is in need of Government’s investment, to include women in all issues such as decision making processes at all levels in line with the 35% National Affirmative Action, to include them in the sector to make agriculture attractive and a viable business by providing Special palliatives targeted at smallholder farmers.