Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Federal Government has adjudged 2018 as the most challenging year for farmers across the country giving the renewed hostilities between them and pastoralists leading to the loss of lives, prosperity and stagnation of agricultural activities.
Minister of State for Agriculture, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, who said this, however, assured farmers of government’s commitment to arrest the challenges as he claimed that the “Presidential Initiative on Fertiliser has greatly enhanced availability and affordability of the chemical nationwide.”
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Represented by his Senior Technical Adviser on Agribusiness, Eneyi Ambakederemo, the minister stressed that, “The availability and quality of Extension Services that progressively declined over the years nationwide has now received government attention with the establishment and strengthening of the department with the mandate to develop a national extension strategy framework.”
Moreso, representative of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Ms. Mariatu Kamara, advised farmers to key into the Community Alliance Forum (CAF) stressing that it, “has been a success and it is now time for other areas of Nigeria to see how this alliance have grown so that it can be replicated on other parts of the country.”
Kamara further explained that, “IFAD believes very much in the 4Ps approach and we do have a lot of sucess stories as teatatment to that.
She concluded that, “The recent Value Chain Development Programme (VCDP) MTR indicated that through CAF, VCDP enabled smallholder farmers to produce and realise an estimated amount of USD9 million from Benue State alone” which she claimed “represents huge injection in the domestic economy and is in alignment with the objectives of VCDP.”