The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) opines that the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development allegedly neglects farmers’ plight amid food inflation and production challenges.
This was made clear in a statement signed by Salisu Mukhtar, the Assistant National Publicity Secretary. There, AFAN alleged that under the rule of Mohammed Sabo Nanono, the Ministry is working against its core mission of making “the agriculture space purposeful and tranquil for agricultural production that will lead to food sufficiency and the restoration of the dignity of Agriculture as the mainstay of the economy.”
The AFAN statement partly reads, “From 2019 to date there have been issues around the renewal of the Agricultural Policy, the convening of Council on Agriculture, interference with activities of NGOs such as AFAN, protests by contractors for non-payment, misinformation regarding allocation of funds for important activities like pest control, false information to the public on mechanization, the arrant contravention of the Seed Act 2019 which guides the Seed System, uncoordinated distribution of inputs, general mismanagement of the Ministry by alienating some key staff as well as high handedness, doing projects not related to the core mandate of Rural Development, etc.”
It also pointed that “The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, intervention in agriculture though not necessarily contributing optimally to the search for food security is by far more effective than the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
“The general impression that the mandate of the FMARD is being taken over by so many institutions is the direct result of the ineffectiveness of the HMA who is always absent from Thursday to Tuesday every week taking trips paid by the taxpayers.”
AFAN went ahead to claim that “The President is very passionate about Agriculture as everyone knows but it is very clear that the continued stay in office of the current HMA is detrimental to all the gains made so far.
“It is sad to note that the farmers buy fertilizer at an exorbitant price in the Market including the PFI 20:10:10 which will be sold at N9,500 this year from its former price of N5,500 in the last five years without any move by the FMARD to provide succor to the farmers.
“It is alarming to note that the HMA is rather busy antagonizing the farmers by asking the Agencies under him to recognize his surrogates from Kano as leaders instead of the duly elected Executives led by Arc Kabir Ibrahim.
“The so-called leaders the HMA supports took the AFAN leadership to Court and the suit before Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Court 09, Abuja has not yet been decided upon but because of disrespect for the court and lawlessness, they in cahoots with the HMA still parade themselves as AFAN leaders.
“This goes to show that the HMA is not at all conversant with the law, the limits of his area of competence when it comes to dealing with NGOs and Leadership ethos generally.”
Finally, the statement called on the President to check the minister’s alleged activities.
“In order to incentivize the farmers to continue the hard work of providing food at an affordable price to the nearly 200,000,000 Nigerians we appeal to the President to look into the activities of the HMA now”, the statement concluded.
However, the minister has in the past denied allegations of this nature because he doesn’t get into the activities of AFAN nor get involved in its leadership.