By Mercy Omoike
Some agriculture stakeholders have called for proper implementation of the Federal Government N200 billion intervention for provision of stable food and agricultural inputs.
The stakeholders made the call in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos while reacting to the President Bola Tinubu’s nationwide broadcast.
NAN reports that the nationwide broadcast was tagged: “After Darkness Comes the Glorious Dawn.”
Tinubu said the intervention would ensure that prices of food items remained affordable, adding that the government had the buy-in of farmers’ associations and operators in the agriculture value-chain.
Mr Godwin Egbebe, the National Publicity Secretary, Poultry Association of Nigeria, called for the proper implementation of the palliatives and collaborations with relevant stakeholders.
“We appreciate the Presidential broadcast and the proposed palliatives for agriculture sector, but like we always say, it is implementation that matters.
“We want the implementation teams for these palliatives to liaise with the real farmers and accept suggestions from them on the disbursement.
“We are the ones on the field, we understand how the sector works, so they need us too.
“We are grateful the President made it as simple as even the layman can understand without the use of economic jargons.
“These palliatives will be a respite to the entire agriculture sector and value chain if it is well administered,” Egbebe told NAN.
On his part, Mr Akin Alabi, the co-founder Corporate Farmers International, called for set up of a special office for disbursement of the palliatives.
“The palliatives promised the agriculture sector in the Presidential broadcast is a welcome development.
“However, different administrations have been reeling out policies but the main concern is the implementation.
“The concern is that these palliatives get to the smallholder farmers.
“Another question is how will the stakeholders across the agriculture ecosystem be impacted by these policies and programmes?
“The Presidency needs to create a special office that will be able to tailor all these policies so that it will be implemented and directed toward the objective for which they were created.
“We need a special office that will be able to implement and carry out these programme plans successfully.
“Hopefully, maybe when we have a Minister of Agriculture in a couple of weeks, then we can have a proper direction and drive for the policies and palliatives disbursement.
“Or else it will just be the same policies being repeated over and over again with little or no impact,” Alabi said.
Also speaking, Mrs Anthonia Amakwe, chairperson of the Association of Women in Trade and Agriculture, Lagos, said the palliatives needed to trickle down to the grassroots.
“We hope to see the proper implementation of these palliatives promised to the agriculture sector.
“Until we see these palliatives get to our hands, we can only hope. Will these palliatives and inputs really trickle down to the smallholder farmers that run the sector?
“We hope that it gets to the grassroots, if it gets to the local farmers it will help boost productivity and in the long run ensure the desired food security for the country,” Amakwe said. (NAN) www.nannews.ng
Edited by Chinyere Joel-Nwokeoma