The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has called on the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, to consolidate the new Agriculture Promotion Policy (APP).
In a chat with THISDAY, the AFAN president urged the minister to have a consolidated APP for 2021-2024 taking into consideration the input of agriculture stakeholders to make comments, observations, and recommendations.
He, however, expressed worries that a new APP might not be on the cards due to the limited time the present administration has in office.
In his words: “The APP is supposed to end in 2020, but our own advice is that the new APP should be consolidated so that we can have a consolidated APP for 2021-2024, but I believe that the government is looking at some works that have just begun by the former minister of Agriculture which they call the National Agricultural Technology and Innovation Plan (NATIP). I have read the document and it does not amount to a policy and there are many salient points that should be looked at and before you launch any policy, you need to take it to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to look at and also to the National Assembly, but before all these, you also need the stakeholders’ buy-in. the stakeholders must see what you have and make comments, observations, and recommendations.”
He added: “Since the present administration has limited time in office, it might not be easy for the minister to introduce a new policy, but my candid advice is that we should consolidate the APP because we are not able to do as much as we would have wanted because of the COVID-19 pandemic and of course the former minister was sacked because of underperformance and justice has not been done to the APP because if you look at the APP, it has what has brought agriculture to the front burner and it is what gave rise to the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP) and if you look at the ABP, you will see that the program needs to consolidate and expanded with a lot of stakeholder involvement.”
He, however, lamented over the rising cost of food prices during a harvest season, saying that lots have gone under the underperforming Ministers