Farmers under the auspices of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, Association of Small-Scale Agro Producers in Nigeria, ASSAPIN, and other stakeholders have requested that ahead of the 2019 general elections, the national assembly should pass a bill on seed council, fertilizer control, and warehouse receipt system.
The farmers made this demand at a programme organised by the Nigeria Economic Summit Group, NESG, together with Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, AGRA, and supported by the United States Agency for International Development, USAID.
The programme themed: Regional Sensitisation for Smallholder Farmers in North-Central had in attendance farmers from Niger, Nasarawa and Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
National Programme Coordinator, ASSAPIN, Yarima Charles, expressed his disappointment over the delay of the bills by NASS, stressing the importance of the bills in enhancing agribusiness and food security.
He implored NASS to quicken the passage of the bills into law before the induction of the 9th Assembly in June because farmers are frustrated.
According to him, “You cannot do farming activities in Nigeria first without having access to improved seeds and without fertilizers. These two things are critical even though land is also one of the critical aspects of it.”
“When these three bills are passed into law, it has multi-sectoral impact, it would lead to improved quality of manpower in the agricultural sector, because it would lead to the production of farm equipment, increased revenue generation.”
“Part of what we are doing today is to equip the farmers with vital information to speak on the issues of the Fertiliser Control Bill, Seed Bill and many other bills so that after we have elected them into power and after May 2019, we will follow it up again to see what they can do to ensure that these bills are passed into law.”
Programme Facilitator, NESG, Dr. Oluwakayode Oyeleye, speaking at the event, urged farmers to stay true and avoid being deceived by politicians, but rather demand that the bills at NASS be passed into law.
He also advised farmers to demand answers from those seeking elective positions in the country, if they would support the bill, adding that a lot will be achieved if the bill is passed.
“I want the farmers to do issue-based voting, ask if they are supporting the bills, if they don’t, then they can’t have the farmers’ votes.”
“A lot will be achieved if the bill is passed. So we are calling for the speedy passage of the bills.”
“The agricultural value chains have not been properly fixed in Nigeria, there have been a lot of gaps and we want to know if this kind of sensitisation can help close these gaps.” He said.
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