STAKEHOLDERS in the Nigeria Agricultural sector have urged the government to implement effective price control to protect Nigerian farmers and also ensure cohesive pricing for consumers.
This was made known by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture and Chairman Board of Trustees ( BOT) Nigerian Agricultural Foundation of Nigeria (NAFN), Senator Abdullahi Adamu.
He made the call at the opening of 2017 and 10th anniversary of the National Agricultural Show and World Food Day, which held in Abuja
According to him “today there is a reawakening and some people whom God has blessed with necessary capital and expertise are now beginning to go into agriculture and by the time they settle properly we would have been able to transit from peasant to modern/mechanise agricultural production.”
Furthermore, he called for the need for major steps to be taken in addressing some of the issues in the sector.
“What Nigerian farmers are expecting is that their commodities should have price, they should know when they produce, what price they are going to get, either by tonne by volume or whatever to be set by the government which are lacking at this point in time.”
The Senator added that since the scrapping of the marketing boards which government used for the marketing of its produce, there has been no alternative to it.
He added that there is a huge vacuum which consequently contributed to some of the problems the sector has been having in regards to pricing, warehousing and marketing of products.
“It is our hope that in order to give our efforts the necessary push, government would need to address those issues” he said.
Also speaking, the National President, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Architect Kabiru Ibrahim said “It is instructive to note that Nigeria is in the process of implementing a green alternative agenda (APP) which espouses the need to change the mindset Nigerians to envision Nigeria as capable of making economic growth through Agriculture in the main as against relying on oil.
“This is both challenging and interesting to do. It is challenging because we are being asked to cast our mind to the 50s and the late 60s when Nigeria’s economy was sustained by agriculture and interesting because our current population calls for innovation” he said.
Ibrahim further noted that “for the nation to be able to have food sufficiency, food security and overall economic growth sustainably “Nigeria must deploy agricultural technology by embracing Biotechnology: encourage the use of genetic engineering to evolve seeds which will resist drought, resist insects, striga infestation, increase yield and enhance wellness of the consumer”.
He added “the nation must further adopt good agricultural practice, Seek foreign exchange through processing, create the enabling environment to bring about additional cultivable land and give the farmer a slot on the actual drivers’ seat of the Green Alternative Policy: involve the farmer in the nitty gritty as he knows where shoe pinches”.