Lagos – The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Fund (SDG-F) has launched a pilot project to boost inclusive growth in the African food industry.
The initiative launched in Kaduna State is aimed at revamping the food sector to create new jobs for young people, increase farmers’ revenues, improve productivity, enhance nutrition and reduce food loss.
This would be attained through more sustainable production practices.
Launched in Jere, the initiative is set to revolutionize the food industry in Kaduna and beyond.
UN Goodwill Ambassadors, brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi Roca of restaurant El Celler can Roca, ranked among the best chefs of the world, UN agencies, the Sahara Group and Nigerian government authorities will partner on the Food Africa project.
Nigeria has been an avid proponent and early adopter of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which were approved at the United Nations in September. Under the leadership of Princess Victoria Orelope-Adefulire, Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, plans and policies are now underway to achieve these goals by 2030.
In Africa, agriculture remains a vital source of employment and income generation.
In Nigeria the sector contributes to an estimated 70 percent of employment in Nigeria, but only 22 percent of GDP, thus indicating a significant potential for productivity gains.
Despite a strong reliance on farming and agriculture, malnutrition is often prevalent in many regions and invariably an estimated 50-70 percent of harvests can be lost due to the lack of appropriate storage facilities and limited market information.
On top of that, climate change, could result in falls in output of up to 30 percent, according to the World Bank estimates.
The recent state of emergency declared in Kaduna over tomato shortages and soaring prices caused by the moth, tuta absoluta, exemplifies climate and environmental pressures to agricultural production to come.
Josep Roca said it was an honor to be part of the Food Africa project.
“We are doing this on behalf of all chefs, not only ourselves.”
For the project kick-off Josep Roca met with young women and men that will be the driving force of this programme.
A Centre of Excellence, specialized on agriculture and agro-processing training, will contribute to expand it to other regions in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa through regional exchange of best practices.
- CAJ News