Farmers Set Agenda For Audu Ogbe

Nigerian farmers have set agenda for the new agriculture minister, calling on the current administration to pay adequate attention to their most pressing needs.

Investigations revealed that the top three needs of the farmers that require urgent intervention are access to inputs such as seeds, fertilizer and agrochemicals; provision of microcredit; and provision of extension services to help them on modern farming techniques.

Findings showed that the farmers are also in dire need of good market and guaranteed minimum price for their produce.

Other needs of the farmers which they want the federal government to quickly address are access to land, mechanized farming and provision of access roads to evacuate their produce from the remote farms to the markets.

A recent farmers’ needs assessment by the Agricultural Services External Monitoring Group (ASEMG) corroborated the position of farmers as findings from 335 farmers across 29 states of the country and the FCT showed their priority needs to include access to inputs, provision of microcredit, extension services, good market and guaranteed minimum price, among others.

Presenting the report of the survey to the Director, Farm Inputs Services Department of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Osho, last week in Abuja, Mrs. Rose D. Gyar, Vice Chair of the group and FCT Coordinator of the Federation of Agricultural Commodity Associations of Nigeria (FACAN), urged the government to consider the topmost needs of the Nigerian farmers as a priority to boost their income and ensure economic diversification.

Responding, Mr. Osho hailed the report and advised the group to present it to higher authority in the ministry for consideration.

Speaking on Nigerian farmers’ needs, a large-scale poultry and fish farmer in Katsina State, Architect Kabir Ibrahim, who is the President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), told our reporter: “The greatest need of the Nigerian farmer is seed; high quality crop seeds and seedlings, day-old-chicks, fingerlings and animal breeds, followed by access to credit, extension services, marketing, processing and storage, among others.

The government should address these issues adequately to help the farmers.”
A woman farmer and member of All Women Farmers Association of Nigeria (AWFAN) in Nasarawa state, Mrs.Aishatu Mbaka, who specializes in yam, maize and vegetable farming and another crop farmer, Mr.Adamu Danladi, from Karshi in the FCT agreed with the views of their colleagues, listing seeds, fertilizer, microcredit, extension services, marketing, transportation etc. as their top ranking needs.

A cattle rearer in the FCT, Mallam Abdullahi Maishanu, said his most pressing need was grazing reserve for his animals to ensure that they don’t roam the streets and also forestall the incessant farmer/herder clashes.

Reacting to the development, the FCT Director of Agriculture at the Agriculture and Rural Development Secretariat, Alhaji Ovurevu Isah Ademoh, who also agreed with the topmost needs of the farmers, told our reporter that the FCT administration has been providing good quality seeds, fertilizer and extension services, among others to the farmers and will continue to assist them to improve their livelihoods.

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