By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN—THE All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, Edo State chapter, has urged the state government to involve farmers in the formulation and implementation of policies on agriculture so that the agricultural policies of the state government will be a reality.
The Edo North coordinator of the association, Alhaji Oshiobugie Mohammed stated this in a chat with journalists in Benin City. According to him, involving the farmers will not only yield the desired result but also give the farmers a sense of belonging.
According to him, “The decision of government across all levels, to always deal with portfolio farmers has been the reason most agricultural policies of the state government have failed to achieve their objectives. Government must adopt the current trend of agricultural implementation which is the Community Demand Driven (CDD) approach, which is the same as the Bottom Top approach.
“This enables the farmers to be at the driver’s seat of agricultural programmes and projects implementation in the state. This system ensures the quality implementation and success of any proposed agricultural policy by the state government. But this negates the current trend being carried out by the current administration of the state,” he stated.
Mohammed also regretted that the current administration was yet to officially flag off this year’s farming season, decrying that the government was yet to make fertiliser available to farmers in Edo.
According to him, “As I speak with you, no farmer can boast of any grain of fertiliser in Edo State and the government has kept us in the dark as to when and where the fertiliser will be available.”
It is really regrettable that like the previous administration, agricultural policies seem to be announced on pages of Newspapers and Television and nothing to show on ground.
“This takes me to the issue of the Anchor Borrower Scheme where several months after farmers have been made to register and open an account with the Bank of Agriculture, the government has remain inactive or silent over the scheme that have been well embraced in other states.”