Farmers in Kwara state, under the aegis of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), have accused the State Government of paying lip service to agriculture.
According to the farmers, the administration of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq does not have any agenda for agriculture.
This came less than two months after the state launched its tractorisation process.
The government said then that it was deploying no less than 50 tractors for distribution to farmers at N10,000 per hectare of land.
However, in an interview on the sidelines of the launch of subsidised farm inputs from Federal Government, AFAN Chairman Comrade Ajibola Tajudeen told The Nation the “state is asleep.”
“The state is asleep because there is no incentive up till this moment from the state government as far as agriculture is concerned. We pray the state government will wake up earlier.
“But it is almost late because any sensitive government should be proactive enough to take the activities of farmers very serious.
“The current government has not put agriculture in the front burner. Recently, the state government launched the subsidization of tractors.
“But tractors will go to the farm and do cultivation. After cultivation what do you plant? If it ends up in cultivation it amounts to waste of resources.
“There are inputs that are needed in the farms that are not available. No chemical, seeds, fertilisation to back up the tractorisation,” he said.
He added: So tractorisation is one of the aspects of farming and it is never a major aspect of farming.
“My candid advice is for the government to wake up from its slumber concerning agriculture in the state. Government should take agriculture as a priority.
“It is the only constituency where youths, elderly can rely upon is agriculture; as nobody goes to the office without eating.
“The lackluster attitude of the current government to agriculture is like farming does not matter to it. It is like agriculture has not place in its programme. Incidentally, Kwara is an agrarian state. 75 percent of Kwarans are farmers.
“So I wonder if a sensitive government of today in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic is not thinking of according agriculture a pride of place.
“It is only the federal government that is now remembering the state farmers all the way from Abuja. All the bags of fertilizers being distributed to farmers in the state are from the Federal Government. There is none from the state.”
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