Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Stakeholders Urge Tinubu to Give Priority to Agric. Sector

Stakeholders in the agriculture sector have called on the newly sworn-in President Bola Tinubu to give agriculture preferential treatment and address various challenges facing the sector, stating that the sector is vital for the growth and prosperity of Nigeria due to its vast value chain.

Addressing journalists during a press conference organized by the stakeholders in Abuja, a former United Nations consultant to the National Horticulture Research Institute (NIHORT) in Ibadan, Dr. Ikechi Agbugba, stressed the need for the President to appoint an agriculturist as minister.

Tinubu, who was sworn in as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Monday, May 29, 2023, is the fifth president of the current Fourth Republic, which began in 1999, and the 16th leader of the country since the country’s independence in 1960.

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Agbugba, who is also a senior lecturer at the Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics, Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, urged the new administration to direct all state governors to revitalize their agricultural development programs.

He also called on the President to open up rural roads to enhance farmers’ access to markets and more agricultural lands, as well as make provisions for simple hand-held machines for transplanting, harvesting, threshing, and winnowing to reduce drudgery and post-harvest losses.

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“Stop the importation of food products (food crops, livestock, and fishery products) that we can produce, and follow that up by encouraging smallholder farmers to scale up or increase their capacity.

“The government should encourage the creation of agricultural hubs across the country, encourage value addition to agricultural produce, and encourage processing and faster and seamless access to inputs to aid improved productivity. Agbugba noted

Also speaking was the president of the National Cotton Association of Nigeria and coordinator Cotton, Textile and Garment (CTG) Development Forum, Anibe Achimugu, admonished the new president to treat the sector with utmost importance, like he had mentioned in his manifesto.

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