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Farmers urge FG to release farm inputs

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Mr Daniel Okafor, National President, Potatoes Farmers Association of Nigeria (PFAN), has appealed to the Federal Government to make available inputs to farmers to boost food production in the country.

Okafor, who made the appeal in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja, said that one of the major challenges affecting farmers was the delay in the release of farm inputs.

According to him, inability to access farm inputs affects the farming activities at the end of the rainy season.

“The Federal Government up until now has not released any farm inputs, only some states are beginning to release some inputs like fertiliser.

“I was in Jos a week ago and they were releasing fertiliser to some local governments; also in Kano they have released fertiliser to some local governments in the state.

“However, the Federal Government should encourage farmers to go to farm by doing the right thing, they have not released any farm inputs for farmers,” he said

The PFAN President said though the Federal Government had made disbursement to a group but up till now the farmers had not seen anything.

Okafor said, “the potatoes farmers are not involved; they are giving our members fertiliser for N5,000 per each bag but we have not seen anything.”

He said that potatoes farmers had been waiting since last year and till now they were yet to receive a single fertiliser, adding that the whole process was a failure.

The PFAN President said the process was a failure because they were doing business with only the people they described as committee, while leaving the real farmers out.

He urged the federal government to look into the whole process, saying that it was not possible to get involved in agricultural activities and not involve the farmers.

According to Okafor, the federal government needs to release the budget for agriculture between December and January.

“But if you release the budget of the country by October and expecting magic to be done it will affect the total output.

“And this year 2019 budget has not been released, we do not even have a minister; what do you think will happen? The truth is that agriculture is seasonal and rain feed,” he said.

He, however, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the Anchor Borrower Seed Programme, which has to do with funding

According to him, the funding was given directly to the farmers, and it has helped the farmers to do the best they could.

“We are so grateful the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is assisting the farmers, if they continue, it will go a long away in resolving problems facing agriculture in Nigeria.

He, however, advised farmer at all levels to monitor implementation of Federal Government projects in the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs)..

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