The Federal Government of Nigeria has demonstrated a strong commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including halving poverty by 2015. Recognizing the importance of agriculture, as well as the challenges faced by the sector, the federal government acknowledged in the 2004 National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) the importance of pro-poor private-sector led economic growth in the agriculture sector for reducing poverty in Nigeria. However, as was underscored by the Agricultural Policy Commission of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group at the June 2006 Summit, the sector remains hampered by weak economic linkages and a disconnect among stakeholders, as well as a weak policy environment and poor service delivery. Recognizing these challenges, the Agricultural Policy Support Facility (APSF) was designed as a way to strengthen the capacity of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources (FMAWR) to design and implement agricultural policies, by addressing the fundamental knowledge, capacity, and communication problems faced by the Government of Nigeria.
In response to this need, APSF is supporting the Rural Economy Knowledge Support System (REKSS) to strengthen the enabling environment for evidence-based policymaking in Nigeria. To better understand the current policymaking process, capacity needs, and communication linkages, the FMAWR and the International Food Policy Research Institution (IFPRI) with financial support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) organized the consultation workshop ?Capacity for Designing and Implementing Agricultural and Rural Development Policies and Strategies? on February 27, 2008 in Abuja, Nigeria.
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