FG to ban portfolio, political farmers – minister

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Abuja, March 21, 2024 – The Federal Government will ban portfolios and political farmers parading as real farmers ahead of this year’s farming season.

Aliyu Abdullahi, the Minister of State, Agriculture, said this on Thursday at a roundtable on “the Food Price, the Forex and the Farmer” organised by the Progressive Forum.

He said government would soon begin to identify real farmers to ensure that government; attention to the sector got to real farmers.

The minister said the president had given his ministry the necessary support to ensure that the real farmers are properly targeted.

He said government was also developing a strategy to direct attention to institutions with massive land to embark on massive production to fight food insecurity and the high cost of foodstuff in the country.

“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, so 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, who need one or two support 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 so that 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 ten and thousands of hectares claim just to siphon whatever support government is making available for farmers, and at the end of the day on paper we are supposed to have massive production but in reality, there is nothing to show for it.

“These have been part of the problems we met, but the good news here is that based on our engagements with sub-nationals, almost all the state governments have agreed with us that it is time to banish anybody that is not a real farmer, who come and tap into what the government is giving to real farmers who have genuine operations. That is a massive paradigm shift because the reality is before us now.”  (GBN)

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