The All Farmers Association of Nigeria has accused the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of chasing shadows instead of focusing on achieving the President Buhari’s food security mandate.
This was contained in statement signed by the Assistant National Publicity Secretary of AFAN, Salisu Mukhtar, on Thursday.
The Association, according to the statement, alleged that the Ministry, under the current leadership of Sabo Nanono, is working at cross purposes with its core mandate of making the agriculture space purposeful for agricultural production that will lead to food sufficiency and the restoration of the dignity of agriculture as the mainstay of the economy.
It noted that the Ministry has been in one crisis or the other since the assumption of duty of the Nanono.
It stated, “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.
“Others include, 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.”
The Association said that the Central Bank of Nigeria’s intervention in agriculture has contributed more optimally to the search for food security than the ministry.
“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 Minister who is always absent from Thursday to Tuesday every week taking trips paid by tax payers.
“The President is very passionate about agriculture as everyone knows but it is very clear that the continued stay in office of the current Minister is detrimental to all the gains made so far.
“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 Minister now,” the statement added.