The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security has been criticized by the Potato Farmers Association of Nigeria (POFAN) for omitting them from the launch of the 5-year rolling plan for Irish potatoes.
Chief Daniel Okafor, the National President of POFAN, expressed his dissatisfaction during a speech in Abuja on Wednesday. Okafor highlighted that despite POFAN’s efforts to enhance the status of potatoes in the country, the ministry has failed to acknowledge their contributions.
He further stated that this attitude is disheartening and unpleasant for the association’s members.
”It beats my imagination that all the efforts we made to reposition potato status including running a training program free in Plateau and other states are not recognised.
”Not even the POFAN chairman in Plateau was invited to the launch of the program. POFAN is not contacted in any of the programs across the states.
“Recall that it was our organization that brought the issue of Irish potato in Plateau to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
“We collaborated with the Netherlands and pursued it until they expressed interest. Who then are the farmers they discovered to work with,” he queried.
According to Okafor, it appeared that the association was being intentionally excluded, and he pointed out that POFAN had been instrumental in securing the long-term viability of Irish potatoes in the nation.
“I am complaining because you know the role my organization played, that’s what we get from these people after suffering for them with an open mind
“It’s a disaster and a pity that POFAN was not carried along. This is the same Ministry we presented a proposal penultimate week in a meeting we had with them just before the launch.
According to his statement, two years ago, POFAN initiated a 10-year rolling plan after receiving an invitation. He also mentioned that the ministry was fully aware of POFAN’s significant contribution to the potato agriculture subsector.
Moreover, he expressed his concern that the ministry had been neglecting POFAN in its program.
”We shall soon come out in a different way to protest it. It’s becoming unbecoming.”