- THE Nigeria Farmers Group and Cooperative Society (NFGCS) has called on the federal government to increase investment in agriculture to create jobs and meet the targeted food security.
THE Nigeria Farmers Group and Cooperative Society (NFGCS) has called on the federal government to increase investment in agriculture to create jobs and meet the targeted food security.
The group also noted that it would improve small scale farmers’ productivity and income through value chain development and encouragement of farmers’ cooperative groups.
The NFGCS, who made the call on Monday at its third annual general meeting, said increased investment in the sector would assist Nigerians in maximising the potentials available in the agric sector.
The National Coordinator, Mr Retson Tedheke, lamented that the production and processing equipment on ground cannot meet what the farmers need to boost production, adding that Nigerian farmers need favourable working conditions to meet up with the demand.
While reiterating the need for investments in machineries, infrastructure, agro-processing, research, and in every sector of the economy that is capable of supporting a massive revolution in agriculture, he nonetheless regretted that that the nation is not yet positioned to become food sufficient within the next decade.
“Government should make loans cheaper for rice farmers, make the environment more conducive. Most of the challenges need to be solved so that we can maximise the potential available in the agric sector.
“We cannot become competitive with high loan interest rate, but we can become competitive when the loans are coming between five to 10 percent. Those are some of the things that are making things easier for farmers in other countries.
“If we support local producers of rice in Nigeria, we are adding to creation of employment.
“We are currently producing 2000 25kg bag of rice in a day, we are moving from that number to an excess of about 10, 000 bags everyday before the end of the first quarter of 2020. But we need more assistance to meet up the demand”, he said.