Farmer Groups Call For Subsidy Fund Reinvestment In Agriculture
By Ene Okwanihe, Abuja
A coalition of Commodity Associations and Farmer’s Groups have drummed up support in favour of fuel subsidy removal while calling for the subsidy funds to be reinvested into the Agriculture sector.
They said this be done through the newly established National Agricultural Development Fund.
The call was made at a joint media briefing in Abuja Nigeria’s capital.
The President of the Young Farmers Network Abubakar Bamai while delivering a joint message said diverting the subsidy funds to the Agriculture sector would enhance productivity.
He said; “Recognising the critical role that Agriculture plays in our Nation’s economy, we must invest in its long-term sustainability.
“The diversion of the fuel subsidy payments to the National Agricultural Development Fund will enhance productivity, promote technological advancement, and improve the livelihoods of farmers across the country.”
Bamai further suggested areas the Fund could be channelled into such as research and development, Farmer support programmes, Infrastructural development, Agricultural extension services and Agribusiness development.
On Agribusiness, Bamai explained that “there should be support for agribusiness through access to credit facilities, training and market linkages, fostering entrepreneurship and creating employment opportunities in the agricultural value chain.”
He however noted that the call is not in any way undermining the need to address the concerns and welfare of Nigerians in the wake of an increment in the price of PMS.
Also speaking, the President of Women Farmers Association of Nigeria, Amina Kabir said that coming on board the National Agricultural Development Fund would address some lapses encountered in the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers Scheme as the agency would be dealing directly with the farmers and not through the Private Finance Initiative (PFI).
On his part, the President of Date Farmers Association of Nigeria Professor Usaini Dikko said the National Agricultural Development Fund just like the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), would go a long way in transforming the agriculture sector.
He added that farmers believe the new agency would do right by them.