Sunday, February 21, 2021

$1.2b Agric intervention fund must get to real farmers, NGO tasks Nigerian govt

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The Abundance of Hope Initiative, an NGO, has appealed to the Federal Government to target smallholder farmers in disbursing the $1.2 billion intervention facility aimed at boosting agriculture in the country.

The Executive Director of the organisation, Taiye Sasona, made the appeal while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Abuja.

Recall that the Federal Government signed a 1.2 billion dollars Memorandum of Understanding with the Development Bank of Brazil for agriculture modernisation in Nigeria.

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The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Agriculture, Dr Andrew Kwasari, said the Federal Government also intended to set up modern agro centres across the country with the credit facility.

Mr Sasona, while emphasising the need to target smallholder farmers, described them as the real farmers.

According to him, some interventions in the past ended up with “portfolio and political farmers’’.

“I want to urge the Federal Government to look the way of smallholder farmers. They can do more especially in this era where there is no job.

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“The previous interventions from FG have not been getting down to the real farmers, it has been getting to portfolio farmers and political farmers.

“So, the smallholder farmers have been the ones suffering, they don’t get this thing, rather they rely on NGOs to get assistance.

“They see NGOs as next to God to give them whatever information they want.

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“Let the Federal Government this time look in the way of smallholder farmers and this is critical in boosting agricultural production and guaranteeing food security in the country,’’ Mr Sasona said.

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NAN

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