A non-governmental organisation, Good News Development Association (GNDA), has urged the Federal Government to continue to invest in agriculture in order to help farmers become mechanised. Speaking at the unveiling of the group’s cooperative in conjunction with Lagos State Agricultural Development Authority (LSADA), tagged: ‘Potential in agriculture,’ the Chairman, Barnabas Anyanwu, said that government’s continued investment in agriculture would improve small scale farmers’ productivity and income through value chain development and encouragement of farmers’ cooperative groups. Anyanwu said: “We call on Nigerians to embrace agriculture because it has helped the country in the time past and that’s where this nation would go back again.
Also, government needs to help in providing facilities to prevent food wastage in the country. Sometimes on transit, the agriculture produces get spoilt before getting to the destination.
Government should come up with good policy that will help Nigeria farmers guarantee food security, so they would continue to invest in the sector. “We often time see in the media, how much government makes available for the sector, and we have not seen the impact or anything to show for it.
We hear plans of government but the reality is that it has not gotten to the farmers.” Anyanwu noted that the group had acquired 31 acres of land for farming, processing and packaging of agriculture produces. Explaining further, he said: “We are coming into agriculture activities fully. We first got one acre of land, in farm estate but today, we have acquired more land, because we intend to have all enterprises in agriculture. We are creating a hub where you get all produces, starting from processing, packaging, and marketing. Even foreigners can walk into the centre and find any type of agriculture produce they need.
“We are financing our farm projects as a group. No support from anywhere, even the losses we incurred during COVID-19 lockdown, no agency, or government office have invited us. We need government’s support to actualise all our set out course.” He commanded the Lagos State Agriculture Development Programme for guiding and supporting the group. “We have visited Bank of Industry and Bank of Agriculture to find out how they would support us financially. We think it is very important we kick start something within our resources. But farmers in southern region are suffering in the area of clearing the bush. Government is involved in clearing farm land in developed countries to make it easier for them as part of encouraging them,” he said.