Agriculturalist urges Buhari to adequately fund agricultural sector in 2nd term

An Agriculturalist, Mr Sodiq Daware, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to give farmers access to more funds and inputs.

Daware, the Chairman of the North-East Commodities Association (NACAS) gave the advice in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.

The agriculturalist, who is the Chairman, Board of Trusting, National Sorghum Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria, said that farmers were expecting a lot from the president in his second term for the agricultural sector.

“We are aware that Mr President is very interested in agriculture in Nigeria by making sure that he supports primary production by not only giving them access to funding and inputs but also closing our borders.

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“We are aware that we have a lot of youths that are unemployed and the best way to get them employed is to embark on agriculture and added value chain,’’ he said.

He said that Nigeria is the largest producers of rice in Africa and it must be sustained with more support from the government at all levels.

“We are happy that he has extended the tenure of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, who has small-holder farmers at heart and has agriculture as his number one priority.

“Some previous CBN governors did not have the interest of the agriculture at all or had interest in only large scale farmers.

“The only way to sustain the production in this country is to support the small-holder farmers across the country, who are large in number,” Daware said.

According to him, farmers need quality and certified seeds to have a good yield and concurred with other stakeholders to sign the seed bill before the end of this tenure.

“We believe signing the bill will make his work easier in the agricultural sector under the next administration.

“It will go a long way in helping production in the country, it will also increase the income of farmers which will definitely boost the economy.’’

“We are therefore expecting a programme man and agriculturist per excellent and a young person that can head the ministry of agriculture, the person that can initiate policy and programme that can stand the test of time.

He said that NACAS had played a vital role in boosting Nigeria’s agriculture by engaging the service providers to map farmers’ farms and advice on farm holding of each farmer.

Daware said that the association had also engaged reputable and inputs suppliers that currently distributed inputs to farmers in the North-East with the certified seeds, quality fertiliser and good herbicides.

“This is the first in the history of implementing anchor borrower programme where farmers are getting inputs on time.

“At end of this year’s production, we believe that a farmer has no reason not to pay back his/ her loan 100 per cent because they are sure of good yields,’’ he said.