As part of measure to cushion the adverse effects of the Covid 19 pandemic on farmers,the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari,has approved the sum of #600 Billion as palliative to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture,to empower farmers in all the Agricultural value chain in Nigeria.
Dropping this cheering news in Umuahia, during the meeting of Abia State Farmers Cooperative Societies Limited (AFCOSOL), the president of the AFCOSOL,Chief Uzoma Nwogwugwu, said that the move by the Federal government was a commendable one, as it would help farmers in Nigeria commence full activities in Agriculture businesses, because the Covid 19 pandemic succeeded in setting farmers backward,thereby affecting Agricultural production, processing and marketing.
Nwogwugwu stated that the palliative would be given to practicing farmers in Nigeria,so as to boost their Agricultural activities, adding that President Buhari is the first president of Nigeria that has focus much on Agricultural development, making it the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy.
He described the president as the best in Agriculture,who through his numerous programmes and assistance to farmers,both in Agricultural inputs and funding, has opened so many windows through the financial institutions,such that farmers could access funds without collateral.
” Today, Nigeria farmers can access loan as low as 1% interest rate, thereby, making the challenges of funding,a thing of the past”.
Nwogwugwu who is vying for the post of President,NANFACOS,the National body of all cooperative societies in Nigeria, said cooperative society is the only means to change the problems Nigeria is passing through in Agriculture.
According to him, Nigeria would continue to encounter challenges in Agriculture,until they recognize the activities of cooperative societies, pointing out that the development of any nation is tied to the development of private sector organizations and it is in this sector,you find real farmers and practicing farmers.
He added that the disbursement of Agric funds or input, to the Ministry of Agriculture,is the biggest challenge farmers are facing,as funds are given to everyone farmer without recourse to whether the person is practicing or not and often times,funds are released to ghost farmers, relegating the real practicing farmers.
Nwogwugwu further maintained that when elected as the President of NANFOSOL,he would not only ensure the activities of cooperators come to limelight,but would introduce ‘Book Keeping’ to Farmers,so that farmers would be able to keep records of how much was spent in their production and how much the produce would be sold,as most atimes,their expenditure in the farm is usually higher than what they actually sell their produce.
He, however, disclosed that Storage system would also be adopted in Nigeria,to end the issue of incessant waste of farm produce and food scarcity, adding that if a good storage system is adopted,the country could boost of food sufficiency and farmers’ productivity would be enhanced.