Agricultural sector experts strongly advise President Bola Tinubu to appoint a qualified professional as the minister of agriculture, emphasizing the need for expertise over political affiliations. The experts emphasize crucial issues that require attention in the agricultural sector and highlight its potential for generating greater income for the nation.
Emmanuel Ijewere, the Coordinator of Nigeria Agri-Business Group, insists that politicians should not hold the position of minister of agriculture. He stresses that agriculture is a business and that farmers, who are capitalists, should be provided with an enabling environment rather than subsidies. Ijewere also emphasizes the importance of local governments’ involvement in agricultural development.
Furthermore, Ijewere calls for collaboration between the government and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) to create an enabling environment for farmers through training and support. He highlights the potential for increased yam production with improved seedlings but emphasizes the need for effective implementation at the grassroots level.
Kabir Ibrahim, the President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria, supports the call for reform in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. He emphasizes the need for proper implementation of the current agricultural policy and the revival of the National Food Reserves Agency. Ibrahim advocates for farmer involvement in decision-making processes and the creation of an enabling environment to optimize productivity.
Ibrahim also urges the President to prioritize the establishment of cold storage facilities to reduce post-harvest losses and ensure food affordability for the general population. He calls for the appointment of competent individuals to manage agricultural activities across various agencies, promoting collaboration and efficient implementation. Additionally, Ibrahim highlights the importance of Central Bank of Nigeria’s intervention reaching actual farmers rather than being limited to paperwork.
The experts’ recommendations aim to improve the agricultural sector in Nigeria by prioritizing expertise and effective implementation. They emphasize the need for a business-oriented approach, collaboration with research institutions, and an enabling environment for farmers to thrive.