Nigerian Govt Mull Ban on Politician-Farmers to Fight Food Insecurity



The Federal Government has started moves to ban “portfolios and political farmers” parading themselves as farmers ahead of this year’s farming season to boost food production.

The Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, announced this yesterday in Abuja at a a roundtable discussion on: The Food Price, the Forex and the Farmer, organised by the Progressive Forum to mark the 44th birthday of its leader, Ismaeel Ahmed.

Abdullahi said the government would soon embark on a programme that seeks to identify real farmers to ensure that government interventions in the sector get to genuine farmers.

The minister announced that the government was developing a strategy to direct attention to institutions with land to embark on massive production to fight food insecurity and the high cost of foodstuffs in the country.

He said President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had given the ministry the necessary support to ensure that the genuine farmers were got real support.

Abdullahi said: “In terms of support, I am happy the farmers have realised that all countries provide support for agriculture in billions and equipment. Well, they call it subsidy, but we in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture call it support.

“What we are giving is support. There could be technical support, there could be infrastructural support, there could be advisory extension support. Support is support. What it means is that the farmers need to be aided to achieve the maximum productivity that we need.

“Having analysed what we met on the ground when we came in last year, we realised it is important that we recognise the value of our smallholder farmers. But we can also do with supporting those who have massively invested in different farming operations across the country, those who need one type of support or the other from the government but have not been able to get it.

“This year, we intend to start a programme that will highlight who these people are, where they are located, and what farming operation they do. Through this, we can key them in as verified genuine farmers, not the portfolios farmers, not the political farmers, not the fake farmers who come in with tens and thousands of hectares claim just to siphon whatever support government is making available for farmers.”

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