The National Agricultural Foundation of Nigeria, a non-governmental organization, has decried the Federal Government’s failure to set aside a national day for Nigerian farmers despite their enormous contribution towards the country’s wellbeing.
It said it’s surprising there is nothing like a National Day for the farmers to celebrate and for the government to hear from them and give them the recognition they deserve.
This was disclosed by the National Coordinator of the National Agricultural Foundation of Nigeria, Dr Samuel Negedu, while briefing the press at the head office of the Foundation in Abuja ahead of the 15th edition of the National Agricultural Show to be held from 20th to 24th November.
According to him, many countries have National Farmers Day, adding that it’s not too late and the earlier the better, “We are still pursuing that. I believe that this can happen and the press will help us to make it. We know the effect of celebrating them; it has to be very positive and the farmers are waiting. One day, I believe it will happen.”
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He, however, assured that the Foundation is poised to continue supporting the agricultural programs of the country.
On why the show was shifted from October to November as is the tradition, Dr Negedu said it was occasioned by the season’s rainfall pattern in which farmers suffered a lot of losses in the previous month, “The farmers advocated that they wanted to come when they’re through with the harvest.”
Speaking on the focus of this year’s show, he said the focus would be on the president’s food emergency pronouncement. “We have two purposes: one is to be in the mood perfectly in creating a forum for Nigerians to showcase their agricultural produce and productivity through the National Agricultural Show. Secondly, for us to discuss ongoing policies of the government towards proper implementation.
The show is expected to bring together major stakeholders such as agric groups, farmers’ organisations and zero hunger groups, among others, “because if you’re talking about food security, some of these groups must be present. They are going to participate effectively both at the opening ceremony and in the seminar.”