Rice millers commend President Tinubu over plans for farmers
The Abakaliki Rice Millers Association in Ebonyi state has hailed the Federal Government’s plans to boost farm produce in an effort to cushion the effect of the removal of fuel subsidy.
President Bola Tinubu, on Monday in a nationwide broadcast, assured adequate food sufficiency for Nigerians.
According to president Tinubu, the government will ensure staple foods are available and affordable.
“To this end, I have ordered the release of 200,000 metric tonnes of grains from strategic reserves to households across the 36 states and FCT to moderate prices. We are also providing 225,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser, seedlings and other inputs to farmers who are committed to our food security agenda,” Tinubu added.
Reacting to the development on Tuesday, Mr Linus Nkwuda, Chairman of the millers association, said that President Tinubu’s plans to boost agriculture was a welcome development.
Nkwuda, however, decried the way inputs and seedlings meant for farmers had been diverted in the past. He appealed to the federal government to distribute such items directly to the farmers.
“The items; fertilizer and seedlings as listed by the President during the broadcast, are very important to all farmers. We are happy. We need those items to succeed. Loans are also important. We commend the President and urge him not to involve political farmers during implementation,” he said.
Mr Kenneth Chigozie, Secretary of Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Abakaliki branch, also urged the president to work directly with the farmers at the hinterland in the efforts to ensure food security.
Chigozie noted that working directly with farmers would ensure transparency in the distribution of farm inputs meant for its members.
Chigozie, however, expressed worry about how the farmers had suffered since the removal of fuel subsidy, adding that members were faced with challenges associated with the high cost of production.
He described the cost of inputs, such as seedlings, herbicides, pesticides and fertiliser as well as hiring of labourers, as worrisome.
“We are happy, President Tinubu is remembering us, the farmers. His promises to us during the nationwide broadcast are a welcome development. Our prayer is that, let those items and monies attached come to us directly,” Chigozie added.
NAN / Foluke Ibitomi