Nigerian Farmers Take Very Drastic Decision Over Who To Support In 2019
The farmers, under the aegis of Association of Small Scale Agro Producers in Nigeria, said that they would subject every candidate’s agenda to a thorough screening to determine their commitment to boosting the sector.
Joshua Jonathan, National President of ASSAPIN, made the position known on Tuesday in Lafia, at the review of farmers’ manifesto, ahead of the 2019 general election.
Jonathan said: “Agriculture contributes up to 40 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product; there is the need to give it great attention by taking steps to ease the plight of farmers, in terms of inputs and other facilities.
“As farmers, we have realized our political capacity and have unanimously decided to mobilise and educate our members while strengthening our resolve to use our electoral powers to vote only political office seekers who share our vision.
“Any political office seeker interested in asking for our votes must make a commitment to implement the farmers’ manifesto, highlighting how he or she will meet our demands when voted into office.
“We are no longer going to be used for electoral victory and dumped by politicians thereafter. We shall keep a copy of the endorsed document as a monitoring instrument of political office holders thereafter.”
He said that part of the objective of the farmers manifesto was to work toward increased agricultural budget and policy formulation that would create an enabling environment for improved agricultural investment from both public and private sectors.
“ASSAPIN is a willing bride for any political office seeker with a progressive mindset aimed at improving the standard of living of farmers in the country.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the group also presented the farmers’ manifesto to the Nasarawa State Ministry of Agriculture as a strategic partner through which it could reach out to the political class.
Sulaimon Arigbabu, Executive Secretary, Human and Environmental Agenda, a non-governmental Organisation, said that the farmers’ manifesto clearly highlighted the challenges facing agriculture in the country and how to tackle them.
Arigbabu urged the ministry to spread the message to politicians in order to boost agricultural production through the formulation and implementation of the right policies that would benefit all stakeholders, especially small holder farmers.
Receiving the document on behalf of the Nasarawa government, Ezekiel Auta, Director of Administration and Supply, who represented the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of a Agriculture, Dr. Janet Angbazo, assured the group of government’s continuous partnership toward boosting agriculture.
He said that the state government would study the manifesto with the view to taking appropriate steps towards addressing the identified challenges so as to guarantee food sufficiency and food security.