Diversification in agric sector requires actions, not talks — Sen. Adamu

Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture, says the diversification efforts that will bring the country out of recession requires actions from both government and private investor.

Adamu said this on Tuesday in Abuja at a National Farmers Empowerment Programme organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in collaboration with the Eurobase Consult Limited.

The chairman of the committee further said that the theme of the programme: ‘Enhancing Productivity and Quality Assurance’ was apt but must be matched with actions.

The Senator said that although wet season farming was fast approaching, many farmers were yet to get inputs and implements to commence planting.

Adamu also expressed concern that the country had yet to implement the Malabo Declaration which commits at least 10 per cent of national budgetary resources to agriculture and rural development policy implementation.
“Farmers are used to ploughing, harvesting and selling of their produce. We have talked and lamented enough on agriculture.

“I do not want to be a prophet of doom, but we need actions.

“I do not want to hear past stories about agriculture. I want to hear that we are taking tractors to Benue, rice mills to Sokoto, Lagos, Kogi to assist these farmers.

“I want to see hatcheries being purchased for poultry farmers. We are not saying they should be given to the farmers free because I don’t believe in free lunch.

“If it is a grant or loan, give it to us, but the machines must be present here,’’ he said.

Alhaji Nuhu Gidado, the Deputy Governor of Bauchi State, in his remarks, called for support for local manufacturers in agricultural sector in the country.

Gidado, however, expressed concern that the issue of capital flight had been a major discouragement to local investments.

Chief Audu Ogbeh, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the Federal Government had taken up the challenge of boosting local food production to reduce over dependency on food imports.

Mr Sunday Edibo, the Director, Agriculture Land Resources and Climate Change Department of the ministry represented Ogbeh at the occasion.

The minister said government would continue to support genuine investors to ensure that food was produced in abundance, adding that Nigeria had over 84 million hectares of agricultural land.

Mr Don Ekesiobi, the Managing Director of Eurobase Consult Limited, appealed to government to encourage foreign investors to assist in the diversifying the economy.

Ekesiobi also urged government to address high import duties on agro-machines to help boost agricultural production.

Some farmers and stakeholders in the sector who spoke at the programme, also called on the government to tackle challenges such as lack of input and inadequate implements facing by farmers in the country.

This they said would ensure food security, especially during the wet season farming.


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