Stakeholders in agriculture have faulted the government for ignoring the primal place of agriculture in the economic pursuits of the nation, as it remains the major source of food for the average man.
According to the stakeholders, agriculture which provides employment for over 80 % of Nigeria’s population, not less than 90 % of export value and more than 50 % of the national income of the country should be given utmost priority.
They opined that the country will continue to wallow in economic recession and will continue to lag behind among other nations in terms of agricultural productivity until FG pay due attention to agriculture sector.
Everyday, we hear on the radio, television and read on the pages of newspapers that the government is diversifying from oil and that agriculture is the way to go, However, the government is not doing the needful in this regard.
He opined that government needs to encourage practicing farmers with machineries that can aid farm work and which will serve as a motivating factor.
Moreso, Fatai Olagunju, a civil servant who also owns a cassava farm, posits that the place of agric extension workers cannot be undermined in the development of agriculture.
He further stated that: “To the best of my knowledge, agric extension officers are the ones saddled with the responsibility of moving from one farm settlement to the other to assess the operations of farmers and give feedback to the government through the ministry of agriculture in various states”.
He therefore called on the three tiers of government to, as a matter of urgency, swing into action and fulfill all their agricultural promises and goals.
“We are already in collaboration with Dangote Group for the production of rice. We are also concluding discussions with the Lagos State government in similar version and quite a number of companies are lining up to do that as well.”
Other achievements he said the state has achieved agriculture- wise are the sensitization of youths and women on how to apply technology to agriculture.
President Muhammadu Buhari has also regretted the long neglect of the agricultural sector and has vowed to make Nigeria become a major exporter of cocoa and other non-oil export commodities
He disclosed this at First International Cocoa Summit organised by the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment in collaboration with Cocoa Association of Nigeria (CAN).