By Franklin Alli
The Federal Government has voluntarily contributed $150,000 (about N22,500,000) to Amsterdam_ based Common Fund for Commodities to implement various projects in the country and within West Africa.
The Managing Director of the Fund, Ambassador Ali Mchumo, made this disclosure during the 22nd meeting of the governing council held in Abuja.
According to him, “in spite of the prevailing global difficult financial and economic situation, the Government of Nigeria voluntary contributed USD 150,000.00 for the commodity related projects carried out by the Fund
Amb. Mchumo added that many CFC’s collaborating partners and agencies, especially those undertaking projects in applied agricultural research have achieved tremendous successes, major scientific breakthroughs and innovative practices in the cassava (IITA), cocoa (CRIN), rice (WARDA), groundnuts (IAR), rubber (IRRDB) 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 USD 35,475,556 (approx. USD 35.5 million). Presently, several new CFC projects recently approved for financing are ongoing; and overall nearly 30 projects have been implemented in the country.
Nigeria also has benefitted 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.
In a keynote address , Vice President,Arch. Namadi Sambo, said that the Federal Government will continue to give moral and financial support to the organisation.
He acknowledged that the Fund remains one of the most important international organisations that Nigeria belongs based on the benefits that the country derives from it.
According to him , “ apart from over thirty (30) Commodity Development projects and four (4) new ones, bearing on production, processing and marketing of agricultural Commodities, financed by the Fund, Nigeria has benefitted immensely from free access to market information and research results that have assisted stakeholders to improve on their production and output quality over the years.
Speaking further, the Vice President said that at the home front, efforts are being made to support the contributions of the Fund and other development partners such as the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), United States Assistance for International Development (USAID), Japan International Cooperative Agency (JICA).