By Arc Kabir Ibrahim
The 2020 Farming season appears to engender a bountiful harvest but the flash floods all over the nation portend a serious impediment to the realization of a bumper harvest.
The several windows of support to the farming communities from the CBN and a host of other sources are germane and evidently impactful.
The FMARD Ministry of Agriculture in its half-hearted and rather late efforts in 2020 flag off activities with the most recent one having taken place as late as 7th August 2020 in Owerri, Imo State has kept the tempo of encouraging the farmers to put in their best to bolster food production.
As one traverses the nation from Dankama in Katsina State to Dutse In Jigawa State, Birnin Magaji in Kano State, Osogbo in Osun State, Ogbomosho in Oyo State, Nkwere in Imo State, Calabar in Cross River State, etc. it’s all green signifying a potential bountiful farming season.
The floods in June up to early August all over the nation have washed away burgeoning crops and livestock enough to make the farmers apprehensive of imminent food shortage, though!
For those of us living in the fringes of the Sahara our large ruminants are mere skeletons because animal feed is very costly and very hard to come by.
Wheat offal is going for close to 5000 per 50Kg.
The poultry industry is in distress because of the scarcity and prohibitive cost of the energy component of poultry feed!
The skyrocketing prices of staples and grains such as maize selling for 18,000 per 100Kg scare the living daylights out of us.
All these compounded by the COVID-19 still around us as much as when it impeded access to our farms during the complete lockdown portend a serious disaster to the food system.
We can take the following decisions to mitigate the catastrophe should it occur, God forbid:
- The GMP( guaranteed minimum price) for produce should be re-established.
- The Bill for the reestablishment of the NFRA( National Food Reserve Agency) should be signed into law immediately.
- The NADF(National Agricultural Development Fund) should be established as soon as possible.
- A SEED FUND should be established as soon as possible.
- A Special Adviser on FOOD SECURITY should be appointed as soon as possible.
- The FMARD should be reappraised through a PIVA( Partner Institution Viability Assessment).
In conclusion, Nigerian farmers should be part of all decision making in matters affecting them directly.
Great Farmer, Great Nation!
Arc Kabir Ibrahim is the National President, All Farmers Association of Nigeria(AFAN). He wrote in from Katsina, Katsina State.