Mon. Jul 15th, 2024

Engage Practitioners To Manage Agric Sector In Nigeria, Group Urges Tinubu

 

By Justina Auta

The National Agricultural Commodities Project 2023 has urged President Bola Tinubu to appoint professional practitioners to manage the agricultural sector to achieve national food security.
The group of experts, comprising of over 70 agricultural commodities associations, made the call during a news conference in Abuja on Friday.
Speaking on behalf of the group, Alhaji Ali Baba, President, Pastoral and Livestock Feeds Association, said appointing experts from the association to manage the sector would assist in utilising agriculture for national development.
“As representatives of association comprising farmers, producers, traders and other stakeholders involved in the agricultural value chain, we recognise the significant role that agriculture plays in the development of our nation.
“With the recent strides made by the Nigerian government to prioritise agriculture and achieve self-sufficiency in food production, we believe that involving key players from the Commodities Association in decision making processes will enhance the growth and success of the sector,” he said.
Baba said ensuring representatives from the association to manage the sector would foster partnership between the government and the grassroots, as well as transformation in the sector.

“We stand ready to support, work and collaborate with the government in its efforts to achieve food security, improve farmers’ livelihoods, and propel the agricultural sector towards sustained growth and development.
“Because food security is national security and we are confident that with President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima, no farmer will be left behind,” he said.
Mr John Adekoredo, the Country Director, LAWPA Nigeria, said as leaders and representatives of various agriculture commodities groups, they understand their challenges and appropriate ways to address them.
“We who understand the territory can advocate for our farmers; we have been putting our resources, our technical knowhow, connect outside the country to bring value addition in agriculture value chain.
“In recent times, policies of government are been taken without taking into cognisance people who feed the country.
“We as commodities presidents, who are voice to Nigerian farmers are saying let our farmers breathe and we can only do that when we who understand their plights are the ones in the helms of affairs holding these offices.”
Contributing, Alhaji Iliyasu Bulama, the President, National Association of Cattle Dealers, Processors and Marketers of Nigeria (NACDPAMN), said appointing members of the commodities project would aide in resolving farmers and herders clashes.

“If this is put into consideration, there will be no fighting between herders and farmers and then insecurity and banditary will be stopped.
“Because by the time you manage the herders, you put them in places where they will exercise modern farming in terms of ranches, criminality will reduce,” he said.
Similarly, Dr Sadiq Hassan-Arivi, a Security Expert, said appointing relevant stakeholders in the sector would address insecurity, boost agricultural productivity and generate revenue for the country.
“In terms of security, the present government has said that one of the new service chiefs objective and order is to make sure the farm is safe for the farmers to work.
“Issue of farmers/herders clashes and banditry will be a thing of the past.
“Also, the farmers should support the government and make sure that you are part of the agenda.
“There is no way you can talk about agriculture without the farmers and that is why the government is taking it very serious,” he said.
Mr Retson Tedheke, the President, Nigeria Farmers Group and Cooperative Society (NFGCS), highlighted that investment and capable management of the agriculture sector would create job opportunities, food, economy and cultural security.
Tedheke said: “It is an appeal to the government to put people who know how to do the job in positions to get the job done.
“Our appeal to the President, we must get outside that realm that those managing on behalf of farmers are not farmers.” (NAN)

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