Allocate 20% budget to agric, AFAN urges President-elect | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Allocate 20% budget to agric, AFAN urges President-elect

Posted: Apr 2, 2015 at 5:50 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Chibuzor Emejor / Correspondent, Abuja


President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria[AFAN], Kabiru Ibrahim, has called on the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, to allocate 20 per cent of the national budget to the agricultural sector, as soon as he takes  over the reins of government.

Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya

Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya

In an exclusive interview with Daily Independent on Wednesday in Abuja, Ibrahim, who congratulated the President-elect, described him as  a“ farmer  and agriculture-friendly man.

He maintained that following the dwindling fortunes from the oil sector occasioned by the fall in the price of crude oil in the international market, that priority attention should be given to the development of agricultural sector to bolster the economy, create  jobs and reduce poverty.

He pointed out that the expectations of Nigerian farmers are very high in the in-coming administration, adding that agriculture remains the surest way of taking people out of poverty.

According to him, “ I want first congratulate the President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. He is a agriculture-friendly because he is a farmer.

“I know his farm. I am sure that he will help farmers. Following the dwindling fortunes in the oil sector, whoever is in power, should give priority attention to agriculture.

“Our  expectation is very high. We expect him to devote 20 per cent of the national budget to agriculture in order to harness all the potentials in the sector.

“We are embracing bio-technology. The Bio-Safety Bill will be signed before President Goodluck Jonathan leaves office.  That will take subsistent farmers to commercial agriculture.”

Setting agenda further for the in-coming administration, the President of AFAN, urged the administration to give topmost attention to the development of agribusiness, processing and marketing of agricultural produce to enable famers to sell their products at reasonable prices.

Ibrahim, also called for the provision of agricultural financing, adding that farmers have not benefitted immensely from government’s credit facilities  devoted to the sector.

He argued that the impact of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s N220billion Small and Medium Development Funds has not been felt by Nigerian farmers, as 60 per cent of the funds is earmarked for agricultural development.