• Monday, July 22, 2024
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Farmers urge FG to partner stakeholders on food security plan

GAIN, NCIC grant $16,000 to four innovators to boost nutritious foods

The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has urged the Federal Government to collaborate with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and other farmers’ associations for the effective implementation of the food security plan.

Femi Oke, AFAN’s chairman, Lagos/Southwest zone, gave the advice on Wednesday in Lagos, while reacting to President Bola Tinubu’s national broadcast on Monday. He said the broadcast was a welcome development as Nigerians had been expecting it to cushion the effect of the cost of foods in the markets.

Oke said he was doubtful about the implementation of Tinubu’s food security plan without adequate planning and synergy with relevant stakeholders.

According to him, if the government deploys appropriate techniques and expertise, the food security plan will be achieved.

“We, as farmers, are only skeptical about the implementation of the food plan. We believe that if the right peg is put in the right hole, the palliative will get to the masses.

“From the speech, the grey area we feel that is left out by the president is the area of technology which is not mentioned at all.

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“Supplying fertiliser and grains is good but we want the government to really identify and work closely with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and especially, AFAN which is the umbrella body of farmers in the country.

“By involving AFAN, the implementation of all the palliative can be evenly distributed and be accounted for. For now, we are happy and we believe that within the shortest time, if all these things listed by the Federal Government are implemented, it will ease current hardship and insecurity,’’ he said.

The chairman, however, expressed worry that the president’s speech did not address mechanisation. He noted that agriculture had moved beyond hoes and cutlass, adding that technology was key to boosting food production and improving farm practices.

“The president stated that he is going to use a different approach to tackle insecurity in Nigeria; if that can be done, it will be beneficial to farmers, especially those in the far north,’’ he said.

Oke advised the government to introduce modern technology such as smaller machines that could be useful to farmers.

“Agriculture should not be a thing of hoe and cutlass, we want the president to mention the modern technology that the government will introduce so that we will go along with other developed countries,’’ he said.

He added that extension officers in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture should also be strengthened.