Synergos Nigeria, a global non-profit organisation, has called on all stakeholders to tackle problems bedeviling agricultural activities in the country to enhance productivity.
The Country Director of Synergos, Mr Adewale Ajadi, made the call in Abuja at the consultative committee meeting of federal and state policy alignment.
Ajadi identified problems confronting Nigerian farmers to include the practice of subsistence farming, land clearing, inadequate extension services and agronomic practices and insecurity.
‘‘With the stakeholders’ support and with the help of other committee, we can solve some of these challenges.
‘‘The Federal and State Governments are meeting to discuss agricultural issues to make sure that there is alignment between what they do and this will strengthen the leadership decision making capacity.
‘‘We are jointly responsible to shift this economy from mono-economy to a diversified economy,’’ he said.
Ajadi said the forum should be used to dialogue and design action plan to bridge the gaps and address challenges identified in all the states.
‘‘We can create atmosphere conducive for stakeholders such as agro-allied people and smallholder farmers to produce effectively.
‘‘We also need to discover the market needs, what they provide that the market needs and what Federal and State are doing here in creating enviable environment,’’ he said.
He stressed the need to be put together strategies to tackle challenges facing agriculture in the country to increase agricultural production and meet the foreign standard to earn more foreign exchange.
Committee members from Kogi, Kaduna, Niger, Oyo, Benue and Ebonyi that attended the consultative forum called for more synergy between the state and federal governments.
They mentioned some challenges affecting them in their respective states to include, lack of data, the recruitment process for N-Power that served as extension workers, land clearing, security among others.
They further called for more support in the area of modern technology to ease agricultural activities.
Responding, a representative of the Federal Government, said ‘‘Federal Government does not have all the solutions, hence a dialogue like this is necessary.’’
In a closing remark, Mr Azeez Muyiwa, Director at the ministry, thanked Synergos for organising the forum to strengthen the relationship between the federal and state governments.
Muyiwa, who was represented by Mr Dennis Goje, said that any state that has any viable commercial project should not hesitate to seek help from the Federal Government.
‘‘I want to encourage states that have viable commercial projects that need help from the Federal Government like road linkages, anything that our mega ministry budget can support.
‘‘The Federal Government is willing to help despite limited resources. I have seen it happening, I have seen people come and say this is what they are doing in states and needs help.
‘‘I have seen the minister going out of his way to use whatever resource he has to support such projects. Let us work on the action plan drafted here in our various states.
‘‘I want to assure you that the Federal Government would do everything possible to work with states to ensure that agriculture is taken to its rightful place in the country,’’ he said.
He, however, stated that with the level of commitment, experienced persons and expertise here present, he was optimistic that the agriculture would move to it greater height soon.
The 25-member consultative committee was inaugurated on Nov. 30, 2017, to facilitate the alignment of federal and state policies in the agricultural sector.