Farmers demand Buhari’s intervention to avert food crisis
• NCWS wants President to walk talk on women’s economic empowerment
To avert looming food crisis in the country, Forum for Agricultural Commodities Association of Nigeria (FACAN) has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to order Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Ifeanyi Emefiele, to immediately release funds for massive dry season farming.
The umbrella body for some 67 commodity associations with a population of about 16 million farmers, pledged that growers were ready to produce food for two cycles during the dry season, to make up for the devastating flooding.
FACAN Chairman, Sadiq Daware, at a press briefing, yesterday, in Abuja, alongside presidents of commodity associations, lamented the destructive impact of the flooding on food production, stressing the need for government to take immediate steps to salvage the situation.
He regretted that despite the daunting challenges experienced during 2021/2022 farming season, the apex bank had allegedly halted funding of the Anchor Borrowers Programme, with no single support to farmers.
Daware feared that that singular act might eclipse the achievements that may have been made thus far by the current administration.
He also canvassed support for flood victims and farmers, with the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative expanded to include other farm inputs like agro-chemicals and seeds, among others.
National Coordinator, Special Project Rice Farmers Associations (RIFAN), Shehu Muazu, said undertaking dry season farming for two cycles would make up for losses thrown up by flooding.
On non-repayment of loans by farmers, he maintained that with the level of destruction, government will have to provide funds to planters to produce and repay facilities.
In his contribution, President of Maize Farmers Association of Nigeria, Abubakar Bello, attributed rising food prices to high cost of production, pointing out that prices of fertiliser, agro chemicals and other farm inputs have more than doubled.
MEANWHILE, National Council for Women Societies (NCWS) has lamented that in spite of Buhari’s commitment to the economic advancement of the gender, there exists almost no money in the budget to support them.
Its president, Hajiya Lami Adamu-Lau, expressed the displeasure at a media briefing, organised by NCWS, in collaboration with Partnership for Advancing Women in Economic Development (PAWED) and Development Research Projects Centre (DrPC), yesterday, in Abuja.
Pointing out that on October 7, 2022, the President stated that the 2023 budget was to harness potential of Nigerian women to productively contribute to the economy, declaring: “We will continue to prioritise women’s empowerment programmes across various MDAs in 2023,” she expressed sadness that the avowal never reflected in the proposed budget.