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Farmers seek financial contributions to forestall food crisis

In a bid to avert a total collapse of Nigerian food system, farmers under the aegis of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) have suggested that each of the 19 states in the Northern part of the country, including Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, should contribute N1 billion each in a pool between now and end of December 2022.

The association also want the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to intervene with the sum of N1 trillion in the country’s agricultural sector within the same period in order to entrench sustainable food system in the country. Disclosing this in an interview with New Telegraph, a key member of AFAN and immediate past National President, Kabir Ibrahim, explained that the common pool was apt and critical to the country’s agric sector survival since it’s now looking real that insecurity is the foremost threat to the attainment of food security in Nigeria. Ibrahim stated that it’s been nearly 15 years since Boko Haram began rearing its head in the North East, first as a religious movement and later snowballing into a fullscale pressure group against the entire establishment. According to him, “a lot of effort, mainly through kinetic means, has been deployed to stem it, albeit with marginal success. In other parts of the North, especially the North West and North Central where most of our agricultural production takes place, banditry and kidnappings are rampant so much so that farmers are discouraged from readily accessing their farms.

“This has resulted in a reduction in food sufficiency, thereby impeding the attainment of food security spite of the several intervention programmes such as the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Proogramme, NALDA integrated farm settlements, FMARDA efforts and several other programmes by the Buhari administration. “With these realities, it is very clear that states have a very important role to play in bringing about food security to Nigeria, but only if the security of life and property is guaranteed or assured. “Each of the 19 states, including FCT, should contribute N1 billion each to a common pool beginning April 31, 2022, thereby pulling a large resource base at the end of December, 2022.

CBN should intervene with the sum of N1 trillion within the same period,” he added. He stated, of course, that the states were not directly in charge of national security and the direct management of the security apparatus comprising the Police, Army and Civil Defence as well as several other institutions, but the state Governors of the states are the chief security officers in their various states, so if they jointly and collectively pursue the issue of insecurity, more impacts will be made. He said: “While the call I am making is to the state governments of the North, it is imperative that the various state governments of southern Nigeria also key into the drive for the restoration of security in order to ensure the attainment of sustainable food security in Nigeria.”

 

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