Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Appoint a farmer as next minister of Agriculture – Association tells Buhari

The Sorghum Association of Nigeria has called on President Mohammadu Buhari to appoint an experienced practicing farmer as the next Minister of Agriculture to enhance food production. The National President of the association, Mr Yusuf Adams, made the call in an interview with newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday.
Adams said that agriculture sector had overtaken the oil sector because of the fall in oil price in the international market. “Agriculture is now the backbone of most of countries, including Nigeria.
“Nigeria farmers have not had it well in terms of having a farmer as their minister that will pilot affairs of the ministry and having rural farmers at heart when making policies.
“We need an experienced farmer this time around as minister. That is why am calling on the new administration who is yet to appoint its cabinet to so
 to boost the sector,’’ Adams said. He said that despite the economic benefit of sorghum production in the country, the sector had suffered setback in terms of getting enough seeds and fertilizers.
He further said that a farmer was entitled to two bags of fertilizer under the current Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme with no regard to number of hectares.
“After getting two bags of fertilizer at subsided rate, a farmer cannot get fertilizer in the market because the Federal Government normally inform the fertilizer companies on quantity to produce each year.
“This is already a setback to farmers with five to 20 hectares and it will also discourage farmers engaging on large farming because of limited access to fertilizers. “The improved seeds we get normally come late. We are not seed company that knows how to safeguard the seeds if not used to next farming season,’’ he said.
The Sorghum president, however, called on the present administration to continue with the Agricultural Transformation in the sector. He urged them not to limit the transformation to seeds and fertilizers alone.


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