Farmers/herdsmen clashes: Sultan expresses need for inter-governmental partnership

Alhaji Saad Abubakar, Sultan of Sokoto

THE Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, has expressed the of the need for partnership between governments at all levels, to evolve solution that will end incessant farmers and herdsmen crisis.

Speaking at the weekend, during the kick-off of the dry season wheat farming and distribution of wheat seeds, as well as other farm inputs to farmers, under the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, in Isa Local Government Area of Sokoto State, he also commended Governor of the Central Bank Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, over the bank’s initiation of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP).

He said the inability to resolve the crisis would frustrate government’s efforts at ensuring food security and making the exercise to end in futility.

According to the Sultan, CBN’s commitment was worthy of celebration at all times and maintained that the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme was key to ensuring food security for the nation.

The monarch enjoined farmers to continue to be diligent in their farming activities, as oil would only provide funds, but would not put food on the table.

Kebbi State governor and chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Rice and Wheat, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, said tremendous success had been achieved since the launch of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (APB) by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 17, 2015 in Birin-Kebbi.

Alhaji Bagudu revealed that where farmers had benefitted from the ABP, their yields had increased tremendously.

The state governor said Nigeria farmers were hardworking, but said there had been too little funding for agricultural activities.

Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal, said the state with an estimated population of about five million, almost 85 per cent of the population were engaged in farming as their main occupation.

The former Speaker of the House of Representatives said the objective of agriculture in Sokoto State was to reduce poverty and achieve sustenance farming to help cater for the well-being of the farmers.

Tambuwal disclosed that with the advent of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, 12,000 wheat and 25,000 rice farmers had been registered, as well as the establishment of small holder millers for wheat in 11 local government areas and 12 local government areas for rice production in Sokoto State.

He assured that the state government would continue to pursue a policy framework that would ensure  improvement of Agriculture and its value chains.

The CBN governor, Mr Emefiele, in his remarks, said the commendation should be directed to President Buhari for showing focus and commitment in diversifying from oil and gas to agriculture and reducing heavy reliance on imported food into the country.

Emefiele commended Governor Tambuwal for the purchase and distribution of farm inputs to the farmers at highly subsidised rate.