A commercial farmer in Imo, Chief Patrick Onuoha, says Â Â Â Â Â Â politicising agriculture is detrimental to national development as it leads to a wastage of financial resources.
Onuoha, who made the remark while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Owerri, said it could also prevent earmarked funds from getting to the targeted beneficiaries.
He said:â€œWhen agriculture is politicised, the nation stands to lose as nothing concrete would be achieved in spite of huge financial investment.â€
â€œIt will bring about the emergence of political farmers whose sole interest is in extracting loan for selfish purposes.â€
He suggested that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and select commercial banks should handle Federal Government loan set aside forÂ commercial farming to ensure proper implementation and monitoring.
According to him, this approach will help to separate politics from agriculture.He said no farmer in the state had had access to the loan earmarked for commercial farming in spite of assurances by government.
He recalled that the government had said that the loan would be accessible within 30 days of application, after meeting the â€œstringentâ€ conditions.Onuoha stressed the need for consistency in agriculture policy for the country to achieve the much-desired self-sufficiency in food production.
He said:â€œAgriculture is so germane to economic development of nations that no government can afford to toy with it, especially during this period of global economic recession which is affecting developing nations adversely. â€œThe Federal Governmentâ€™s loan package for commercial farmers is necessary as it will engender increased food production,â€ he added. (NAN)