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Farmers task Buhari on national agric blue print

Daily independent Newspaper – April 17, 2015

The National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria [AFAN], Prince Ike Ubaka, has tasked the in-coming administration led by Muhammadu Buhari, to develop a national agricultural blueprint that would serve as a guide in the holistic development of the sector.
In an exclusive interview with Daily Independent  in Abuja, Ubaka lamented that successive administrations in Nigeria had only developed agricultural programmes such as Operation Feed the Nation, Green Revolution and the  present government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda for the sector, which did  not outlive the administrations that introduced them.
He pointed out that an agricultural blueprint must have a legal framework that would support its sustenance and continuity even after the tenure of the administration that floated it.
According to Ubaka, “Before they start their rhetoric again, they should sit down and articulate agricultural blueprint for the country. The blueprint will be a referral point. Experts in the sector should be invited to articulate this blueprint.
“Currently, we don’t have an articulated national agricultural blueprint.  Some administrations had Agenda but not blueprints.
“Blueprints accommodate sustainability and continuity. Though it is not sacrosanct, it is subject to review from time to time because of the fluidity of the society.”
Ubaka further lamented that stakeholders were not involved in the articulation of the present administration’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda [ATA], describing its implementation as “still being at the experimental stage”.
The President of AFAN said the impact of the implementation of ATA is yet to be felt, as it has not addressed the nagging issues of unemployment and poverty.
He maintained that many people who were registered under the Growth Enhancement Support [GES] Scheme are not real famers, faulting the method used in the registration of so-called farmers by the Federal Government.
To this end, he canvassed for a strong synergy among the three tiers of government as well as the farmer groups, such as the AFAN, in the development of the sector.
The agricultural expert picked hole in the Federal Government’s attempt to showcase agricultural activities to the detriment of States and Local Government Areas, adding that each tier of government should have a clear-cut agricultural programme.


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