Niger Delta Development Forum NDDF 2014 Calabar

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 Influencing Development outcomes in the Niger Delta

 Date: November 25 & 26

Venue: Monty Suites, Calabar

Theme: “Unlocking Investment opportunities in Agriculture in the Niger Delta for Regional Competitiveness”

About the Niger Delta Development Forum

The Niger Delta Development Forum (NDDF) is a unique advocacy platform that informs and influences promotion of non-oil pro-poor policies, programs and interventions as well as leverage and advice on how resources from the public, private and development organizations can be effectively and efficiently utilized to promote inclusive and equitable economic growth.

To achieve this, it promotes models, approaches and strategies through annual outreach forum on topical issues that has a wider positive impact in improving the social and economic well being of men, women and youth living in the Niger Delta. Based on the conclusions and solutions proffered at the end of the forum, follow on action plans are developed to implement recommendations with like minded partner organizations that are feasible and can be accomplished within a given time frame.

The forum convenes government officials, policy makers, civil society representatives, academics, the private sector, business leaders, entrepreneurs and other interested observers to engage in an open, constructive and interactive policy dialogue, and roundtable discussions on critical development issues. NDDF’s philosophy is hinged on policy analysis, dialogue, partnerships, use of evidence and a strong commitment to influence duty bearers who have the power and authority to make desired changes.

Strategic Objectives of NDDF

  1. Inform and influence policies and approaches that promote market driven solutions with potentials for unlocking economic growth in Niger Delta.
  2. Improve understanding of, and create awareness on systemic constraints and enablers to equitable economic growth in the Niger Delta region.
  3. Promote a culture of partnership, facilitation, information sharing and innovations in addressing systemic constraints to economic growth.
  4. Create opportunities for analysis, reflection and debates among development actors and interested stakeholders to support the ongoing economic growth initiatives in the Niger Delta.

 

NDDF Calabar 2014

Background

Agriculture as a business in the Niger Delta is diversified and investments opportunities also abounds. To achieve the region’s  growth potential through agriculture, accelerated and increased investments are needed in Crop production (Cassava, Palm oil, Rice, Cocoa and Rice), food processing and preservation, Livestock and Fisheries production, Agricultural inputs supplies and machinery, Commodity trading and transportation, Development and fabrication of appropriate small-scale mechanized technologies for on-farm processing and secondary processing of agricultural produce.

Taking full advantage of these investments opportunities will require investment-driven strategic partnerships with the private sector as well as investment drives to unlock potential of our States in agriculture. Policy makers and duty bearers in Niger Delta states need to overcome some major challenges associated with infrastructure, barriers to doing business, conflicts and security risks, low skill levels and access to appropriate technology. Others include low productivity; inflation; high cost of labor, transportation, finance, low skills levels; policies that don’t promote inclusive growth. The un-competitiveness status of agriculture of the Niger Delta is further compounded by an unproductive agricultural model, poor market access and limited social safety nets in the rural areas.

The NDDF Calabar 2014 is poised to stimulating results oriented discussions and actions to reposition the Niger Delta region to attract the much desired investments under the theme Unlocking Investment Opportunities in Agriculture in the Niger Delta for Regional Competitiveness. This form will bring together leaders from government, civil society, development community and business membership organizations/trade associations and resource poor farmers for an issue-based interaction that will explore how to collectively shape policies, programs and partnerships that will make agriculture in the Niger Delta investment attractive and competitive in the next 2 – 5 years.

Objectives of NDDF Calabar 2014

  • Identify investments opportunities in selected local agricultural value chains in each state of the Niger Delta
  • Attract private sector investors to invest in local agricultural value chains that presents income and employment generation opportunities
  • Proffer practical recommendations and action points that can improve investment climate and opportunities in agriculture in the Niger Delta
  • Identify specific niches and opportunities to attract more women and youth profitably in agriculture

Sub-themes:

  1. Investment opportunities in local agricultural value chain commodities

Panel session topics:

  • Investment opportunities in Production, Processing and Marketing for Cassava, Oil Palm, Aquaculture, Cocoa, Rice and Poultry
  • Investment opportunities in marketing and supplies of Agro-inputs
  1. Impacts of conflicts and insecurity on investments in Agriculture

Panel Session topics

  • How can conflicts be mitigated through investments in Agriculture in the Niger delta?
  • How can investments in the agricultural sector address issues of human security in the Niger delta region?

c. Opportunities for Women and Youth in Agriculture

Panel session topics

  • Opportunities for promoting agro entrepreneurship  for Youth in the Niger Delta
  • Accelerating and Increasing opportunities for women in agribusiness

 

d. Government perspectives on Agricultural investments

Panel session topics

  • State-led Infrastructural support to agricultural production and processing
  • Agricultural land development and mechanization

Strategic questions that will be discussed at the forum

  • How can government and business leaders promote cross-regional initiatives and alliances to unlock underemployed economic resources for the benefit of all Niger Deltans?
  • What role can government, business, Civil Society and youth play in mitigating violent conflicts for agricultural development?
  • How are national agricultural challenges perceived and addressed in the region?
  • What immediate action needs to be taken to unlock investment opportunities in the identified agricultural value chains?
  • How can a better understanding of the dynamics of navigating today’s fast-changing agricultural environment be coordinated in a collaborative manner?
  • What are the investment options that incorporate poor people into the agricultural value chains as suppliers, employees, producers, marketers and transporters?

 

How is this forum different?

The focus of NDDF Calabar 2014 on unlocking investment opportunities in Agriculture is timely and germane because it aligns with the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda and the Vision 20:20:20. The timing of this forum is also appropriate because it coincides with the declaration of 2014 to be the Year of Agriculture and Food Security by the Africa African Union (AU) Assembly of Heads of State and Government.

During the two-day meeting in Calabar, participants will have the opportunity to consolidate active commitments toward new priorities, strategies and targets for achieving results and impacts, with special focus on sustained, all Niger Delta agriculture-led growth, propelled by stronger private sector investment and public-private partnerships.

This forum will also create the chance for participants to build cross-regional initiatives and alliances as well as provide concrete answers to germane questions (listed above) that will help to unlock the Investment opportunities in Agriculture in the Niger Delta for the benefit of all Niger Deltans.

 Target audience

  • Government officials in Agriculture Ministries, Department and Agencies (Federal and State)
  • Policy makers in Agriculture Ministries, Department and Agencies (Federal and State),
  • Civil society organizations working in Agriculture and food security
  • Academics
  • Private sector investors in agriculture sector
  • Business leaders
  • Small and medium size entrepreneurs
  • Agricultural sector Media correspondents

Implementing Partners

  • Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Agricultural Transformation Agenda
  • Cross River State Government
  • UK AID Department for International Development (DFID)
  • USAID
  • International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
  • Niger Delta Development Commission
  • DAI

 

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