Rising from its third quarterly meeting in Maiduguri, the Nigeria Zero Hunger Forum (NZHF) has issued key recommendations and resolutions that should be quickly implemented towards the attainment of Zero Hunger by the year 2025. The recommendations are to be implemented in the five pilot states comprising Benue, Borno, Ebonyi, Ogun and Sokoto and beyond. The recommendations and resolutions which formed part of the communique presented by Dr Kenton Dashiell, Deputy Director General (Partnerships for Delivery) at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) was signed by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria’s former President and chair of the NZHF and the Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kashim Shettima on Friday night as part of activities to end the two-day meeting that was held from 8-9 March 2018. According to the communique presented by Dr Dashiell, members of the Forum agreed on the need for States to focus on crops/livestock where they have comparative advantage, they also agreed that while large scale industries are good for food processing at scale, they proposed that attention should also be given to small and medium agro-industries as a linkage between smallholder farmers and large industries. “The Forum recognized the efforts of the Nigerian Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Bank of Industry (BOI) to address financial constraints faced by farmers and agreed that invitation be extended to the CBN for attendance of subsequent NZHF meetings. The Communique added that the investment of Borno State Government in mechanisation was well received and members of the Forum called on the State to set up appropriate mechanisms that would ensure farmers’ access to the machines. It was strongly recommended that the option of establishing agro-service centres using the public private sector approach should be adopted to ensure sustainability. It was agreed that there was the need for the Borno State to train operators on the use of machines such as tractors, and to train mechanics for repairs and maintenance among several others The Forum identified cassava as a poverty fighter and a crop that could help the State in job creation for youth and women and proposed that the State Government should commit investments in the cassava value chain. The Forum commended the IITA for its engagement with States through technical backstopping on various projects such as weed management in cassava, yam aeroponics, and the donation of seeds. Other partners that received commendation were the World Food Program (WFP) and the African Development Bank (AfDB), while the proposal by FAO to join forces and support the NZHF was well received and appreciated. Inaugurated in 2017, the NZHF is a peer review/advisory mechanism formed by former President Obasanjo with IITA as a technical partner in response to calls by the United Nations for countries to achieve Zero Hunger by 2020. The Form adopts moral suasion as a tool to encourage states to work towards the attainment of Zero Hunger. Source: Leadership.