APRNET charges Kogi to en­cour­age farm­ers to ac­cess farm in­puts

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - BUSINESS - From John Akubo, Lokoja

AGRI­CUL­TURAL Pol­icy Re­search Net­work (APRNET), has charged Kogi State Gov­ern­ment on the need to en­cour­age farm­ers in the State to ac­cess farm in­puts es­pe­cially farm credit, fer­til­iz­ers, im­proved seeds, and ac­cess to in­fra­struc­ture like good roads and elec­tric­ity. Th­ese will en­able them add more value to their agri­cul­tural prod­ucts and im­prove their well­be­ing in the process.

The Pres­i­dent, APRNET, An­thony Onoja, who said this at the 7th Agri­cul­tural Pol­icy Re­search Sem­i­nar held in Lokoja over the week­end.

Ac­cord­ing to him, while Gover­nor Ya­haya Bello of Kogi State achieved the pri­mary goal of Gov­ern­ment to en­sure se­cu­rity of lives, there is a need to en­sure food se­cu­rity for the ci­ti­zens.

He said: “Achiev­ing this feat will in­volve con­certed ef­forts by the Gov­ern­ment and all other stake­hold­ers in agri­cul­ture in Kogi State, adding that the net­work shifted the sem­i­nar to Kogi State to ad­vo­cate for en­gage­ment of multi-stake­hold­ers in agri­cul­tural pol­icy for­mu­la­tion and im­ple­men­ta­tion. He said APRNET be­lieves that re­search in agri­cul­tural fields and re­lated science will not lead to de­vel­op­ment in Kogi, and in­deed in Nige­ria, un­less ef­forts are made by rel­e­vant au­thor­i­ties to build ca­pac­i­ties of re­searchers and farm­ers bring about in­no­va­tive tech­nolo­gies in farm­ing. This will help in bridg­ing the gap be­tween the re­search com­mu­nity/academia and the farm­ers/agro-business, who are the end users of agri­cul­tural re­search. “In­sti­tu­tions such as Kogi State Univer­sity, and the Fed­eral Univer­sity Lokoja, and a host of oth­ers, would have a sig­nif­i­cant role to play in this area. “It is sur­pris­ing to note that a State such as Kogi, which is one of the food bas­kets of Nige­ria, given its rich agri­cul­tural re­sources de­spite hav­ing a con­ven­tional Fed­eral Univer­sity is yet to start any pro­gramme in agri­cul­tural sci­ences. He also called on the man­age­ment of all re­lated in­sti­tu­tions in the State that have any­thing to do with farm­ers to key in, har­ness, and con­trib­ute their max­i­mum quota to agri­cul­tural de­vel­op­ment.

“Th­ese will in­clude the re­vival of all state de­vel­op­ment agri­cul­tural projects to carry out holis­tic mod­ern agri­cul­tural ex­ten­sion serv- ices in line with the cur­rent thrust of the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment in the Green Al­ter­na­tive.

“The need to re­vive the agri­cul­tural de­vel­op­ment project es­pe­cially its agri­cul­tural ex­ten­sion ser­vices is highly need this time when the Fed­eral min­istry of agri­cul­ture and ru­ral de­vel­op­ment is re­ac­ti­vat­ing the na­tional agri­cul­tural ex­ten­sion ser­vice de­liv­ery sys­tem.” He in­di­cated that farm­ers need to be ex­posed to mod­ern meth­ods of farm­ing.

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