Calls on Agric Minister to woo State Govts into NATIP
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, Tuesday, urged the Federal Government to resuscitate the National Food Reserve Agency, NFRA, to boost food security and nutrition in the country.
The National President, AFAN, Arc Kabir Ibrahim made the call during a courtesy visit to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubhakar, at the headquarters of the Ministry in Abuja.
Ibrahim who led the AFAN delegation said the NFRA needs resuscitation as it will strengthen various agricultural value chains and make food available at affordable prices.
He said: “Agriculture is today on the front banner of the general discourse in Nigeria with the promise of ushering the attainment of Food Security and an eventual sustainable Agricultural economy that will also ensure an alternative to the oil dependent economy currently going through several challenges.
“The National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) should be resuscitated immediately beginning with the rice displayed in the recent event organized by the CBN and RFAN. The processed rice by accredited millers should be bought directly and sold to the public at subsidized price that’s resuscitating the Guaranteed Minimum Price, GMP, too.”
However, he pointed that relevant government agencies are not to work in silos rather synergize to deliver effective and efficient services in the sector.
“The various interventions by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, donor organizations, the several Acts such as Bio-safety, Soil Science, Fertilizer, NASC 2019, PVP 2021, ARCN 2021 and others such as NADF, NFRA awaiting assent were all supported by AFAN at the public hearings in NASS.
“All actors in the Agriculture Space such as the CBN, NALDA, farmers, and others must work in synergy to really impact Nigeria’s Food System”, he stated.
The AFAN boss also said it is imperative the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development “spearhead an advocacy drive to get all the 36 States plus FCT to key into the new Agricultural policy (NATIP) by convening a proper council on Agriculture around Mid-March, 2022 back to back with the formal launch of NATIP with Mr President as a Special Guest.”
However, he urged the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development to host all farmer organizations in a roundtable prior to the launch of NATIP.
“The Honourable Minister of Agriculture should graciously lead AFAN to pay a solidarity visit to Mr President as soon as possible.
He also called on the Minister to reinvigorate the Ministry by “making far reaching restructuring and also evolving a formidable monitoring and evaluation program to ensure proper implementation of the new Agricultural policy.”
He promised AFAN’s support to the Minister to achieve more as the foremost farmer organization in the country.
“We wish you and your entire team every success in the daunting task of evolving a veritable as well as a sustainable food system for Nigeria”, he added.