STAKEHOLDERS in the agricultural sector have called for effective implementation of agricultural policies for national development.
The stakeholders made the call in a communiqué issued on Wednesday in Ilorin at the close of the two-day programme tagged “Farm2Fork Dialogue”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme with the theme, ”Eliminating the Economic Impediments to a Prosperous Commodity Agrobusiness”, was organized by AgroNigeria, a communication outfit.
In the communiqué, the stakeholders noted that the problem confronting the agriculture sector was lack of implementation of policies.
They said if policies in the agricultural sphere were well implemented by the government, the country would move progressively.
“Following the bold decisive step to close our borders, the people have to be culturally reoriented and support this approach by addressing our prodigal culture, providing a way to tap into Nigeria’s jail free card, which is Agriculture.
“The government should tackle the problem of late loans so agricultural produce will be available for every loan raised; and equally the government should provide good quality seedlings
“The government should create proactive policies at the grassroots that will benefit farmers in order to create jobs for the teeming Nigerian populace”, the communiqué added.
It also noted that the African Development Bank (AfDB) had resolved to partner with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) to promote the special agro-industrial processing zones (SAPZs) project targeted at increasing food production capacity and promoting local, regional and international trade.
“Research, policy and practice must converge to deliver value added agriculture where there will be increase in employment and a stable job creation for the youths in the country.
“The government should execute training programmes for youths to inculcate the knowledge of agriculture in youths for them to appreciate the potentials and advantages embedded in it.
“The government should partner with the private sector and ensure we eat what we grow and grow what we eat”, the stakeholders urged,” he said.
The forum also observed that planning should henceforth be approached from the grassroots and not only at the top level because farmers are the voice of the voiceless in the community.
It also advocated for a reduction in interest on government loans to farm ers to a maximum of not more than five per cent.
According to it, there is need for the introduction of structural marketing and contract farmers to enable farmers know who buys from them and at what price, quantity and quality they are buying the agro-commodities.
It urged stakeholders to pay more attention to the fourth revolution, where technology would be used to improve distribution and production efficiency.
It canvassed for a deliberate effort to develop the value chains whereby Nigeria’s potential in agriculture could be fully exploredn
This, it said,would address the issue of unemployment, poverty and provide a viable alternative to oil in foreign exchange earnings for the country.
It further stressed the need for the stakeholders to be more practical, more engaged and effectively take redundancies out of the production chain and value chain of agriculture in Nigeria.
– Dec. 05, 2019 @ 08:10 GMT |