All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has reiterated the need for governments at all levels to provide direct subsidies on seeds, fertilisers and all farm inputs to boost food production in the country.
Kabiru Ibrahim, National president of AFAN stated this at the ‘2023 Agricultural Show’ organized by National Agricultural Foundation of Nigeria (NAFN) with the theme ‘towards the realization of the Presidential Declaration of Emergency on Food Security’, held in Nasarawa State.
According to him, incentivising the Small Holder Farmers (SHFs) as welll as adressing cases of insecurity that impede seamless access to farmland has become imperative, in achieving the nation’s food security mandate.
“There is a need to resuscitate the Presidential fertilizer initiative and make fertilizer available and affordable to the small holder farmers. Like Coca Cola products that sell at the same price in all states.”
He also appealed for the resuscitation of the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) and to make good seeds accessible and affordable to all farmers.
In his remarks, Abubakar Kyari, the minister of Agriculture and Food Security, revealed that the government has immediate and short term plans for developing a standard framework and guide for Ease of Doing Agriculture and Food Security in the country.
The Minister said organizing an Agricultural Show is usually a significant undertaking, and an incredible amount of hard work is necessary to create such unique events and ensure they are successful.
Kyari further stated that the activities in the Agriculture Show present spin-off benefits to the gathering of all stakeholders in the sector by serving as high-level platforms for business-business linkage, technology transfer, knowledge exchange, public-private collaboration and policy discourse among participants.
“Overtime, Agricultural Shows have become veritable tools for showcasing latest developments within the agricultural sector. It brings people together, to network, to do business and to give the public a glimpse into farming life. It also provides a hub for the farming and rural community to meet, exchange ideas and above all, have a few days away from the farms”, the Minister said.
In his remarks, Emmanuel Akabe, deputy governor of Nasarawa state, called on stakeholders, captains of industries and development partners to invest massively in agriculture to transform Nigeria into a virile country for food security and value chain addition.
Akabe said agriculture remains the cornerstone for the sustainable socio-economic development of the country and It is the hub through which Nigeria can achieve a tripartite benefit of creating employment, generating wealth, as well as establishing industries that will process agricultural produce for consumption and exportation.
He said this year’s event was critical in restoring the lost glory of agriculture as one of the major contributors to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and foreign exchange earner to our dear nation.
He said “Nigeria is endowed with human resources, mostly populated by youths and it is the responsibility of everyone to support the Government, because the government alone cannot do it.”