Some key farmers in the country, on Tuesday, raised the alarm that food crisis is looming in Nigeria as a result of myriads of challenges facing the agricultural sector.
They also said despite the many gains of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the “programme is now near moribund”.
Speaking at a press briefing in Abuja, President, Forum for Agricultural Commodity Association of Nigeria, Alh. Sadiq Daware, called on President Bola Tinubu to find a way of taming the challenges the farmers are currently facing, especially post-harvest crisis.
He listed lack of access to affordable finance; unavailability of quality and affordable inputs; skyrocketing prices of inputs; fragmented and unstructured market; negative climate change as some of other challenges currently facing the farmer.
Alh. Daware said, “We wish to acquaint you (President) with the myriad of challenges that face the agricultural sector. Mr. President, sir, as an Association that has a critical stake in agriculture, we wish to bring to your notice that after the devastating flood that affected several farmers during the 2022 wet season.”
He explained that the immediate past President had intervened and cushion the negative impact of the flood a Flood Emergency Intervention Programme (FEIP) but the programme was stalled and never saw light of the day due to “undue bureaucracies”.
“Your Excellency, it would interest you to know that despite the many gains of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the programme is now near moribund as no small holder or medium scale farmer has accessed the fund since 2020.
“This is a very sad commentary as the progress made in production of food commodities for food security and import substitution are being reversed rapidly. Deliberate effort must be made to stop this ugly trend and put agriculture on the right trajectory for economic growth.
“We are equally convinced that you would use your good office to ensure that the needful is done on this matter,” he added.
Alh. Daware advised the President to direct the CBN or ministry of finance to urgently provide funds to farmers for the 2023/2024 wet and dry season farming, stressing that this should be treated as top priority and acted upon expeditiously.