Hajiya Halima Njobadi, the Director-General, LUGAVO Cooperatives, a nonprofit organisation, on Tuesday appealed to the Federal Government not to pay lip service to agriculture in order to achieve sustainable food security.
Njobadi, who made the appeal in Abuja, decried the attitude of civil servants in the Ministry of Agriculture to farmers that come to follow up their files.
“Sometimes the challenges of farmers are that the civil servants in the ministry block our access and stop us from getting what we need,” she said.
Njobadi said that the Federal Government was trying as regards to the various policies on agriculture; which she described as the next phase of the national employment security for the youths.
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She, however, urged the Federal Government not to play politics with agriculture, adding that the government should know who the real farmers are and work with them to address the various issues affecting the sector.
According to her, agriculture is the future of the Nigerian economy and there is the need for the Federal Government to take it with all seriousness.
“We need the government to come out and identify with organisations doing real work in agriculture and not those doing paper agriculture.
“They should stop creating confusion and allow farmers to get what they need instead of those that will just write a paper and collect it, leaving the real farmers out,” Njobadi said.
She explained that the real farmers do not get to benefit from the government’s programmes and policies because they are being ignored and sidelined.
According to Njobadi, the cooperative is working with over 2,000 farmers to enable them to stand on their own;
“We offer resources and support to help new farmers and ranchers to start successful farm careers.
“We have tried to secure the loan for the farmers and have connected some farmers to those that want to invest or assist, as reported by NAN.
“Our primary work is to complement the efforts of the government on agriculture for the nation to reach its full potential on agriculture,” She added.
Njobadi, however, appealed to the Federal Government to support the cooperative in terms of funding, so that they can reach out to more farmers.