By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA-THE All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, Monday, expressed optimism that new agric policy underway, National Agriculture Technology and Innovation Policy, NATIP, will wake up Nigerians and also galvanize food production.
Speaking with Vanguard, the National President, AFAN, Arc Kabir Ibrahim, said the NATIP yet to be unveiled will be a game changer in the nation’s agricultural sector, and commended the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad, for the vision.
Ibrahim said: “The Agricultural Promotion Policy, APP, expired in 2020 and because of incompetence the former minister did not do a new policy. So this Minister (Abubakar) has just done the new policy, the National Agriculture Technology and Innovation Policy, NATIP, and we did a validation all over the country and we did the national one at the NAF center, it is from there that we get the National Agric Business Plan, then that Agric Business Plan will go to the private and public sectors, so people can become agric entrepreneurs.
“The innovation and the technology will help optimize production. Even the spacing between seeds also helps you to get more production, and that is technology even to be able to tell you what spacing is, what quantity of fertilizer you apply, what type of fertilizer to use that is also technology. We have to get a market for the produce.
“The whole idea is that this policy will wake everybody up. In fact, it is not the responsibility of the government to do it, it is the private sector that will key into it and the government just enforce it, but in Nigeria you allow government to do it, the government is not in control of the machinery how can it do a policy for us.”
However, he said AFAN advocated that the new policy should be for seven years instead of four years as it has been with previous agric policies in order to avoid policy somersaults in the sector.
“That is the way to go and nobody talks about it but it is always there and it is a continuous, and that is why when we went for the launch, we were advocating for it to be like seven years instead of the former four years that we have been having plans from the Operation Feed The Nation, Green Evolution, even the APP, and the ATA, they were all four years but we said let it be extended so that we don’t have policy somersaults”, he said.