…as insecurity, poor implementation of agric policies affect food production
By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA-AS Nigeria commemorates another Democracy Day on June 12, the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, Sunday, lamented mistakes in appointing Ministers of Agriculture and Rural Development, as there has not been drastic change in food production.
Speaking with Vanguard in a chat, the National President of AFAN, Arc Kabir Ibrahim, said the plight of farmers, especially smallholder farmers has been worrisome and disappointing since 2015 till date as there is nothing to show forth despite these farmers have been producing to feed over 200 million Nigerians, while assessing democratic dividends in the agricultural sector since Muhammadu Buhari was elected Nigeria’s President in 2015, and for second term in 2019.
Ibrahim said: “Insecurity has been a very serious threat to productivity around the food baskets of the country so productivity has been grossly affected.
“It is work in progress and quite germane to prosperity among the SHFs but the impediment of inadequate finance, power, mechanization, storage, marketing and above all implementation of the overall policy are serious threat factors to the attainment of optimum results so the 2023 date is ambitious and a very tall order.
“The incoming administration should simply continue with the Change Mantra for Nigeria to be better in agriculture.
“Insecurity and implementation of the laudable plans on Agriculture are inimical to the envisaged success to have been attained by the Buhari Administration in the last seven years.
“There have been serious mistakes in the appointment of the Ministers of Agriculture and Rural Development from 2015 to date as the veritable drivers to create the enabling environment to be embraced by the States where Agriculture really takes place.”
He also asserted that, “Farmers are not being encouraged to have industrial harmony by undue interference and perceived preferential treatment by those entrusted with policy implementation at all levels from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and even at the state level.
“The results from the farming activities of the smallholder farmers would have been very remarkable had there been deliberate effort to involve them every part of the way in the implementation of the National Agricultural Agenda.
“The fear is that there is likely to be lethargy in performance by the smallholder farmers due to perceived inequity.”