Farmers seek timely distribution for wet season farming

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The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has appealed to the Federal Government to ensure timely distribution of subsidised farm input for the 2019 wet season farming.

The Vice National President of AFAN, Chief Daniel Okafor who spoke in Abuja on Tuesday, said that the timely distribution would encourage more farmers to plant in the forthcoming farming season and guarantee food security.

He expressed regret over the current neglect of farmers by governments, and appealed to them to take care of farmers by providing the necessary facilities.

Okafor, who is also the National President, Potato Farmers Association of Nigeria (POFAN) disclosed that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in 2018 distributed potato vines to farmers when the planting season had elapsed.

He noted that the late distribution of input to farmers could result to the consumption of the input by farmers.

“Many farmers have not received assistance from the government since three years now. The subsidised input which the government normally gives farmers especially under the Growth Enhancement Support (GES) scheme helped us a lot.

“The Ministry of Agriculture should up their game because they are not carrying farmers along in whatever they are doing.

“What they are doing is very wrong because without inputs, what are we talking about in terms of food production?

“The policies in agriculture are good but their implementation is wrong.

“The government knows what to do because some monies are being budgeted every year for the distribution of the subsidised input but we have not received them,” he said.

Okafor also appealed to the Federal Government to address the farmers/herdsmen clashes in the country to discourage the destruction of farms.

“The government should look into farmers-herders clashes in the country because whether they are giving us input or not, if there is no peace, farmers will not go to their farms.

“If they give farmers inputs and there is no peace, farmers will go and eat up the inputs,”.

Meanwhile, Mr Ohiare Jatto, the Director, Farm Input Support Services in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said he was sure whether subsidised input would be distributed to farmers early for the wet season farming this year.

The Federal Government under the GES scheme distributed subsidised input to farmers across the country under former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Chief Audu Ogbeh noted that the scheme was marred by fraud and irregularities and announced its replacement with the Agricultural Inputs Mechanisation and Management Services (AIMMS) programme.

The ministry is yet to commence the implementation of AIMMS.

Ogbeh had said that the implementation of AIMMS would eradicate the act of selling substandard fertilisers, chemicals and seeds to farmers and that all agro-dealers would be traced through their distributors