Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Lagos State Chapter and South-West Zone, Dr Femi Oke, has expressed optimism about friendly policies and climate condition in 2023 to increase food production.
Oke, who said this in an interview on Thursday, January 19, 2023, in Lagos while speaking on the association’s expectations for 2023, submitted that farmers were expecting more friendly policies from government this year.
“We expect better policies from government than last year and what we experienced in 2021, especially in the area of flooding and COVID-19.
“With the signing of the 2023 budget into law by President Muhammadu Buhari, we hope that the incoming government will fully implement it.
“We hope for a better year for us, especially for us the farmers and Nigeria as a whole,” he said.
Oke urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to work closely with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and registered agricultural associations, including AFAN for more openness.
“Most of the programmes implemented by government are okay but when it comes to agriculture, we want the CBN to be autonomous.
“The CBN should not be dealing directly with farmers, the bank should work closely with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and notable associations in the sector.
“The CBN should not be dealing with selected farmers only or based on commodities, every farmer needs government support and intervention.
“We want the CBN to give more power to the Ministry of Agriculture so that they will work closely with them on government programmes and policies,” he said.
Oke urged the Federal Government to create the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Food Security to proffer solutions to the mirage of challenges confronting food security.
He said that the office of the special adviser on food security would address issues and policies regarding food shortage, inflation and availability food, among others.
“We also want the office to the Special Adviser to the President on food security to be created to reduce bottlenecks in the Ministry of Agriculture.
“The office of the food security will work directly with the presidency to address issues regarding food security we are having in the country.
“I believe all these suggestions, if well implemented will have positive impact on the sector in the new year.
“In 2023, we pray for a good climate condition in order to have availability of food.
“We are hoping that 2023 will be more better than 2022 and even 2021.
“We can only pray that the climate condition is favourable especially for we farmers,” Oke added.
By Olayinka Olawale