Nigerian farmers say that despite all the funds being put into the agricultural sector, the price of commodities and foodstuffs keeps increasing.
The farmers from different parts of the country spoke to the Punch Newspaper and also linked the failure of government’s intervention programmes in the agricultural sector to the non-involvement of key stakeholders in the sector while developing the programmes.
While commending President Bola Tinubu for declaring a state of emergency on food security, they said the current high price of food was an embarrassment to the country.
The farmers raised the concern during a roundtable discussion with the theme ‘National Food Security under the Nigerian Current Emergency Situation’.
The program was organized by the Agriculture Development Project in Abuja for agricultural value chain actors, including seed producers, fertilizer producers, mechanization service providers, technology/innovation support services, rice, maize, wheat, cassava farmers, among others.
The Convener of ADP, Sadiq Daware, said most of the government’s programs and projects since 1960, including past President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, had all been bedeviled by the same twin evil of poor policy formulation and faulty implementation.
He also stated that Nigeria had always been listed among the countries in the world experiencing food security concerns.
According to him, if Nigeria takes the right steps, the country could feed itself and many other countries, as agriculture used to be its main economic mainstay.
Daware said, “As key players in the agricultural space, we are not unaware of the many laudable projects and programs by successive governments since independence.
“However, we have noted with great dismay that from the Regional Agricultural Programs under the administrations of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Sir Tafawa Balewa from 1960-1966 to the very recent Anchor Borrowers’ Program of Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, they have all been bedeviled by the same twin evil of poor policy formulation and faulty implementation.
“Unfortunately, despite this glaring reality, all successive governments have opted for this faulty modus operandi, which has always ended in failure of monumental proportions.
We cannot continue doing the same thing while expecting a different outcome.”