Experts under the aegis of Forum for Agricultural Commodities Association Presidents has set an agenda for President Bola Tinubu.
The Forum’s President, Sadiq Daware, at a press briefing yesterday in Abuja, urged President Tinubu to revisit the Flood Emergency Intervention Programme (FEIP) which was set up in 2012 following the flood that ravaged homes and farmlands.
Daware explained since that it was established to cater for over 2 million farmers affected not even a dim had been released to that effect.
“Thereafter, the then President graciously approved an intervention programme to provide succour to 2million Nigerian farmers that were affected by the flood across the different geopolitical zones.
“A Flood Emergency Intervention Programme (FEIP) was birthed and we were commissioned to work out the modalities to ensure its successful implementation.
As a proactive Association, we considered the presidential assent a call to action.
“Thus, we immediately swung into action by deploying our resources to profile farmers and provide an authentic digitalised database of farmers in the affected areas.
“That was first of its kind in Nigeria. Also, further due diligence was done to make sure that only genuine farmers were accorded this privilege.
“Sadly, despite the best efforts of this esteemed Association, undue bureaucracies have stalled the successful implementation of this laudable programme. In fact, it never saw the light of the day,” he said.
Also, he charged the President to breathe life into the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which he claimed had gone moribund.
It would interest you to know that despite the many gains of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the programme is now near moribund as no small holder or medium scale farmer has accessed the fund since 2020.
“This is a very sad commentary as the progress made in production of food commodities for food security and import substitution are being reversed rapidly.
“Deliberate effort must be made to stop this ugly trend and put agriculture on the right trajectory for economic growth.
“We are equally convinced that you would use your good office to ensure that the needful is done on this matter.
“Another matter that is of great importance to us is that of access to quality and affordable farm inputs, especial fertilizer.
Despite the fact that the immediate past government set up the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative to facilitate seamless access to quality fertilizer at an affordable price by farmers, it has not served the farmers for the past two years.
“This is yet another anomaly that we hope you would correct.In the wake of the current nationwide reactions to the removal of subsidy on petroleum products, we wish to draw the attention of the government to the age-long lopsided treatment of issues that have to do with the welfare and wellbeing of our teeming farmers.
“We have noticed with great dismay that the organised labour is given too much attention during discussions for palliatives that could cushion the impact of some government policies.