Various commodity groups have urged Senator Abubakar Kyari, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, to prioritize and provide maximum support for the procurement and distribution of agricultural inputs at subsidized rates to benefit large, medium, and small-scale farmers.
Additionally, the group has outlined several key objectives, including the growth of Nigeria’s cattle industry, improving agricultural insurance, the recapitalization of the Bank of Agriculture (BoA), and providing assistance for dry-season farming.
The association made this disclosure during a press conference in Abuja yesterday, under the theme “Transforming Nigeria’s Agricultural Sector: The Way Forward.”
They stated that the sector has encountered various challenges, including low productivity and inadequate budgetary allocations, which have hindered it from realizing its full potential.
Dr. Austine Maduka, the South East Coordinator of the National Support Group, and Hon. Mohammed Gettado, the National Publicity Secretary of the All Farmers Association (AFAN), spoke on behalf of the group, highlighting the significant potential of Nigeria’s agriculture sector to meet the growing food demands of the population.
The associations emphasized the need to enhance and strengthen their partnerships with donor agencies, development partners, the World Bank, and the African Development Bank (AfDB), among others. They also urged the Federal Government to consider the Ministry of Livestock as a global model, where livestock development has successfully contributed substantially to economic and social development, promoting peaceful coexistence and livelihood improvement. They further implored President Bola Tinubu to ensure that all agricultural programs are overseen by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.
According to them, “We suggest that all recovered funds from anchor borrowers be channeled to the BoA through the ministry. “Nigeria’s agriculture sector has strong potential to provide sufficient food for a growing population, supply raw materials to a burgeoning industrial sector, constitute the major source of employment in the country, and be a significant source of foreign exchange earnings.”
The commodity associations consist of several groups, including the Okro Farmers and Marketers Association of Nigeria, the Cassava Growers Association (NCGA), the National Walnut Growers, Processors, and Marketers Association of Nigeria, the Tomatoes and Orchard Producers Association of Nigeria, the South-South Hum National Support Group, the National Association of Sorghum Producers, Processors, and Marketers of Nigeria, the Ginger Growers, Processors, and Marketers Association of Nigeria (GGPMAN), and the Arewa Grassroot Farmers Processors Association.