Farmers tells Tinubu agric minister must not be a politician

Farmers tells Tinubu agric minister must not be a politician

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Farmers tells Tinubu agric minister must not be a politician

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

Farmers tells Tinubu agric minister must not be a politician. Agricultural experts have strongly advised President Bola Tinubu to pick a trained professional as Minister of Agriculture rather than a politician.

During separate conversations with The PUNCH, they stressed the importance of the agriculture sector to the new Nigerian government, as well as its ability to create more cash for the country.

“First and foremost, no politician should be appointed as Minister of Agriculture.” Secondly, the new government must realise that agriculture is a business,” the Coordinator of Nigeria Agri-Business Group, Emmanuel Ijewere, told our correspondent.

Ijewere characterized all farmers as capitalists, emphasizing that farmers were not government employees.

“I don’t feel sorry for them. “They are hardworking people, but all they need is an enabling environment,” he said.

“Thirdly, all agriculture in Nigeria occurs in local government areas,” the NABG coordinator continued. There aren’t many agricultural activities in Abuja’s core business district or Lagos’ Tafawa Balewa Square.

“Because agriculture is a local practice, local governments must be encouraged to do their jobs in order to become development organizations.”

He stated that the government should stop giving farmers subsidies since some people use such techniques to scam both farmers and the government.

The new government, according to Ijewere, should focus on establishing enabling environments for farmers and other agro-producers in the business.

“Fourth, I believe the government should stop using the term “subsidy.” Farmers are duped by the term “subsidy.” Money is stolen from the treasury, and it is distributed to those who have little knowledge of agriculture.

“Rather, the government should foster a conducive environment.” For example, how many farmers in a given village grow yam? How can we assist them in producing more?

“The IITA (International Institute of Tropical Agriculture), a research institute, stated that the way seedlings are now produced can quadruple the amount of yam we produce in Nigeria within 24 months.”However, this cannot reach the farmers in the villages in time.

“As a result, the IITA, which is a large organization, must collaborate with the government to create an enabling environment by training people in local government areas to achieve things like this,” Ijewere explained.

According to Kabir Ibrahim, President of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should be restructured, and the current agricultural policy should be adequately executed.

“We believe the FMARD should be reformed by putting people who know what they’re doing in charge of the processes.” The new agriculture strategy, which will be in effect until 2027, must be implemented prudently and transparently.

“As the former President directed, the National Food Reserves Agency should be resurrected.” However, it was not resurrected due to the incompetence of the ministry’s previous leadership. Also, we do not currently have a food strategy plan, and if there is a famine, where do we get buffer stock?” he explained.

Farmers, according to Ibrahim, should be included in all decisions that affect them.

“The President stated that he intended to establish hubs in all of the federation’s zones.” He also stated that he intends to construct storage, implying that he is unaware that we have dry storage.

“I’m hoping he’s referring to cold storage to avoid or reduce post-harvest losses.” He should supervise and monitor it to ensure that it is completed. He is also enacting initiatives that will make food more affordable to the common public,” he claimed.

The AFAN president also advocated for the construction of an enabling environment for farmers in order to maximize output.

“The former administration’s policies were not all that bad, but implementation was a problem.” So, the present President is required to choose the correct persons to handle the activities of the many MDAs that have cross-cutting difficulties with agriculture.

“This will prevent people from working in silos.” Also, the CBN’s (Central Bank of Nigeria) assistance should be evaluated so that it reaches actual farmers, not as it is now,” Ibrahim remarked.


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