AFAN Urged To Rev Up Food Production
FARMERS in Nigeria under the aegis of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), have been urged to increase food production in order to ensure food sufficiency in the country and create more jobs for its teeming youths.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, made the call, with assurance of the Federal Government of support to the farmers, when the leadership of AFAN led by its President, Alhaji Mudi Farouk, paid him a courtesy visit at his office in Abuja.
Abubakar, noted that the development was in line with the diversification policy of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration from an oil-dependent economy to the agriculture sector.
The minister, also, commended AFAN for its initiatives such as Farmers Health Insurance Scheme (FHIS) to cater for farmer’s health, securing Pick-up Tricycles, Double Cabin Vans and other mobile facilities for rugged terrains.
According to him, the use of tricycles by the smallholder farmers in communities across the country would ease the means of transportation and ensure food and agro allied products arrive in nearby markets fresher while increasing farmers’ income.
Also, a statement by the Senior Information Officer in the ministry, Mrs Mabel Obe, revealed that the minister has affirmed the ministry’s determination to collaborate with AFAN to improve farmers’ livelihood across the country.
On his part, Permanent Secretary, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, noted that the ministry was ready to work with AFAN, especially in data generation, tractor loans and microfinance banks.
Umakhihe, stressed that there should be a synergy between the association and the ministry to boost the nation’s agricultural productivity.
In his remarks, AFAN president, Alhaji Mudi Farouk, said the purpose of the visit was to solicit the association’s direct involvement in the ministry’s activities to perform better. Farouk listed AFAN’s achievements in the year to include establishment of a micro finance bank known as All Farmers and Women Micro Finance Bank, among others.