What we want from President-elect Tinubu - Farmers

Tinubu 6

Nigeria's President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu

By Olayinka Olawale

Stakeholders in the agricultural space have urged the President-elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu, to adopt policies of great investment in mechanised farming.

They said this in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos while setting agenda for the incoming government.

The farmers also urged the incoming administration to involve heads of various commodity associations in the policy and decision-making process to ensure the growth and development of the sector.

The stakeholders who congratulated the president-elect for winning the Feb. 25 presidential election said that his emergence would bring much-needed development to the agricultural sector.

Dr Femi Oke, Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Lagos State chapter and South-West Zone, urged the president-elect to be a listening president to farmers and appoint only qualified experts to oversee the agricultural sector.

“We also want him to establish the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Food Security which will deal directly with issues of food, this should be separated from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.

“We hope that the new president will keep his promise because it will bring joy and succour to the farmers.

“With Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and all he had done in Lagos State during his tenure as the governor, we are sure of great performance in food production.

“We want him to be a listening president to the farmers and do a lot, especially in the area of development of various value chains.

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“We want him to bring more investors into the agric space because we are expecting a lot from him,” he said.

Mrs Juliana Ibitoye, Chairperson, Erikorodo Poultry Farm Estate, Ikorodu a suburb of Lagos, urged the president-elect to run an all-inclusive government.

Ibitoye said that poultry farmers were facing challenges in the area of inputs, high cost of feeds and inconsistent government policies that affects the day-to-day operation of the sector.

She appealed to the president-elect to review the ban on the importation of maize adding that the current production level was too small to meet the need of the sector, thereby resulting in a high cost of feed.

Ibitoye said that there was an urgent need for government to formulate policies that would save the sector from total collapse as many farmers were already shutting down due to high cost of production.

“If we look inward, we will see that the quantity of maize that we are currently producing is not enough for farmers in Nigeria.

“Farmers even prefer exporting maize to selling it in the Nigerian market and what we have left for us is not adequate for the poultry farmers.

“This is a major issue; we want government to allow us to bring in maize to complement want is being produced locally. We want the government to lift the ban on the importation of maize,” she said.

Ibitoye urged the president-elect to formulate policies that would revive the poultry sector and save it from total collapse.

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