Agric Ministry, farmers asssociation, partner to improve farmers’ livelihood
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, has assured of the ministry’s readiness to collaborate with All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) to improve farmers’ livelihood across the country.
A statement by Mrs Mabel Obe, Senior Information Officer in the ministry, said the minister gave the assurance during a courtesy visit by AFAN, led by its President, Alhaji Mudi Farouk, in Abuja.
The minister said the partnership aimed at enhancing food security and creating more jobs for the teeming youths. Abubakar said it was in line with the diversification policy of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration from an oil-dependent economy to the agriculture sector.
“The ministry, through its various departments and agencies, was ready to give the necessary support to the association to increase agricultural practices and productivity in Nigeria,” he said.
He commended AFAN for coming up with Farmers Health Insurance Scheme (FHIS) to cater for farmer’s health, secure Pick-up tricycles, Double Cabin Vans and other mobile facilities for rugged terrains.
Abubakar said the use of tricycles by the smallholder farmers in the community across the country would ease the means of transportation.
He said it would also ensure that food and agro allied products arrived at the nearby markets fresher as well as increase the income of farmers.
The Permanent Secretary, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, said the ministry was ready to work with AFAN, especially in data generation, tractors loan and the Micro finance banks.
“There should be a synergy between the association and the ministry to boost the nation’s agricultural productivity,” he said.
Earlier, Farouk said the purpose of their visit was to solicit their direct involvement in the ministry’s activities to be able to perform better.
He listed AFAN’s achievements in the year to include establishment of Micro Finance Bank known as All Farmers and Women Micro Finance Bank.
Others are provision of tractors loan to members and commencement of farmers’ data generation, among others.