COVID-19: Farmers demand palliative on farm inputs, soft loans for 2020 farming season

Posted by FN Editor | 4 years ago | 1,083 times



Farmers under the auspices of All Farmers Association Nigeria, AFAN, Sunday, demanded for palliative on farm inputs and soft loans for 2020 farming season.

The demand was made by the Vice President, AFAN, Daniel Okafor, while speaking with Vanguard on a telephone chat, as there is urgent need for farmers to be supported this period Coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic still rages and looming food crisis threatens.

According to Okafor the palliative for farmers include quality seeds, fertilizers, access to finance, extension services, mechanization, and others that would facilitate agricultural activities, especially now that the raining season has commenced and marking 2020 farming season.

He said: “It will be wise if agricultural inputs are one of the mandatory palliatives to farmers including quality seeds, fertilizers, access to finance, soft loans, extension services, mechanization, technology, and others.

“The All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, knows the implication of threatening looming food crisis in the country, which the association has alerted the government including the Food and Agricultural Organisation, FAO, has called on governments in Africa to move fast to avert food crisis in the continent as they contain spread of COVID-19 if not it will further worsen the economic downturn most African countries find themselves.

“The only way to avert the looming food crisis in the country is to give farmers agricultural palliatives on time because the raining season has already set in.

“Farmers should be given priority especially this period donations are made from well spirited individuals and corporate organizations, the government should include its lists smallholder farmers across the states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, for agricultural palliatives in collaboration with AFAN because the association willget the palliatives to farmers via the zonal, state, local and ward leaders of the association.

“Agric palliatives from government at all levels, corporate organizations, development partners, and individuals should get to farmers early which will enable farmers work fast and the harvest ready on time to supply food to the markets.

“One thing we should understand is smallholder farmers remain the powerhouse of food production in the country and have been feeding over 200 million mouths on daily basis.”

He (Okafor) also pointed out that with plummeting oil prices in the global market, which oil producing countries including Nigeria are cutting their crude oil production, agriculture will be the saviour and alternative sector of the country’s economy keep the economy and government running based on the land and human resources God has blessed the country with.

He added that Nigerians will not drink crude oil and smoke gas but will eat food, hence the political will to boost the sector and place it on an enviable pedestal and for successful diversification of the economy.

“It will be a welcome development if such is considered as we all know that for Nigeria to be food secured and as well attain zero hunger the earlier the government and Nigerians delve into agriculture because Nigerians will not drink crude oil and smoke gas.

“We as a country have no choice other than focus on massive production. So we advice that government at all levels should expand their agricultural programmes and ensure enough financial resources and other needed input in order to meet the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGS,  for food availability, accessibility and affordability that would also lead to massive creation of jobs and wealth creation.”, he said.

 


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