The president of the Federation of Agricultural Commodity Association of Nigeria (FACAN), Dr. Victor Iyama, has asked Prof. Ayade, the governor of Cross Rivers State, to stop pursuing regulations for cocoa and other agricultural products because they would be economically detrimental to farmers and other stakeholders along the productivity and marketing value chains.
Dr Victor Iyama expressed his disapproval of the move being made through an Executive Order Bill initiated by Governor Ayade to deny farmers the right to freely sell their cocoa produce to buyers of their choice and criticized the move as being economically closed-minded to agricultural development.
He stated that the issue would be formally brought to the attention of Senator Abdullahi Adamu, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in an effort to persuade the governor to halt the policy that could result in the unemployment of farmers, farmers’ children working as local buyers, and merchants.
He argued that Nigerian cocoa farmers are faring better than their Ghanaian counterparts who have been short-changed through their cocoa board system, and stressed that “going the path of disallowing farmers to sell to buyers of their choice is like bringing back the woe of cocoa board years price exploitation which was the reason former President Ibrahim Babagida abolished the board for open market economy over 36 years ago.”
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The president of FACAN stated that he would have anticipated any sensitive government to prioritize motivating farmers with agricultural inputs and extension trainings to increase productivity rather than enacting an offensive law that will short change farmers’ pricing rights to selling to self-individuals under the guise of government law that, if signed, will have no value to the state’s entire agricultural value chain.
“We are using the occasion to call on the APC chairman to prevail on Governor Ayade to desist from the pursuit of this law that is already at the state Assembly receiving attention. We, the body of FACAN and Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN), are against the proposed law. The new law will not in any way benefit farmers but will rather create unemployment for their children who have already engaged at the value chains of cocoa productivity and other agricultural produce as importers and stakeholders,” he said.