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Presidency has clear direction on food production, says Osinbajo


osinbajoRice, wheat farmers laud Buhari’s agric policy

Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has stated that the present administration’s commitment to achieve self-sufficiency in food production and diversifying the nation’s economy.

According to a statement from his media office in Abuja last night, the Vice President spoke at a meeting in his office with a delegation of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria and the Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria.

The delegation were accompanied on the visit by Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu.

The Vice President praised rice and wheat farmers, saying “farmers are among the most important people in Nigeria today.”

Osinbajo said by launching the CBN Anchor Borrowers Financing Initiative in Kebbi, and the dry season rice and wheat farming last year, what the President did was setting-off an agricultural revolution.

He added that the President’s action also “showed he had a clear idea of how to execute a formidable agricultural policy.”

Earlier, Governor Bagudu said Nigeria would be self-sufficient in rice production in two years and wheat within three years.

In their remarks, the heads of both associations expressed satisfaction with the support received by rice and wheat farmers from the Federal Government.

According to the President of Rice Farmers Association, Malam Aminu Goronyo, before the coming of the Buhari presidency, “farmers in Nigeria were considered useless people on the streets, but now farmers are kings.”

As a proof, he said banks are now soliciting farmers to open accounts, even offering banking services on the farms.

He added that people now also offer farmers credit lines for purchases.

“We have not been having this kind of respect before, we have become kings today,” Goronyo stated.

President of Wheat Farmers Association, Malam Saleh Mohammed, said many rice farmers were also wheat farmers, adding that the productivity level of both farmers had gone up.

Part of the Strategic Implementation Plan of the 2016 budget is the pursuit of measures to make the country self-sufficient and net exporter of certain agricultural items including rice in 2018 and wheat in 2019.

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  • Maigari

    Perhaps it is good to hear assurances from the VP as such. But the one standing problem many a farmer faces id the vagaries of the market. As things stand today, the farmer is still at the absolute mercy of the buyers once he has harvested his produce. At the harvest many farmers are small scale holders who have to sell their produce to meet other needs and it is precisely at this point that they are fleeced by the buyers. The idea of government guaranteed prices simply works to benefit the “patronage system” whereby contracts are awarded to party loyalists to purchase grains.
    To compound the situation many farmers just cannot afford the costs of storage and the eventual loss due to pests, thefts and sometimes weather related factors thus are forced to sell at whatever the buyers offer. Find a workable solution to this and yes Nigeria is well on the way to self-sufficiency on foods grains. That way the small holder gets good and reasonable prices for his labour without having to take unnecessary risks associated with long-term storage.

    • Izedomi Ohirein

      Processing & value addition would guarantee market for farmers. Access to finance is the cross of Nigerian investment problem.
      We need to return to freehold land ownership. 5 hectares of Land should enable the owner to raise N50million for farming & agro allied processing.
      While some could use their land for farming, others will use it for storage or processing ETC.