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Nigeria shortchanges farmers – Obasanjo

Farmers in the country have been allegedly conspired against by the researchers, financial institutions and government.

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo alleged while delivering a keynote address at the Agribusiness Investors’ Network organised by the Innovative Youth in Agriculture (I-Youth) in partnership with International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Mastercard Foundation in Lagos.

The former President said driving agriculture to attain self-sufficiency as a nation should go beyond “tokenism”, saying the critical mass of the population must be involved.

He lamented that farmers could not access sustainable funding from financial institutions, as the current double-digit interest rate given by banks is too prohibitive and cannot sustain any agric business.

Obasanjo advised that there must be a deliberate effort to bring all stakeholders together to produce a new generation of farmers that would take over from the old generation, noting that most of the farmers today are too old, adding that the youngest farmer in his village who happens to be his cousin is 75-year-old, asking, “How do we replace them?

“We need to see agriculture as being less of talk and more of action, timely action, right actions. Whatever you are doing in agriculture requires action and attention.

“Agriculture is a serious business that requires commitment, funding, reasonable cost, right and appropriate inputs, beginning from seeds. It requires stability and predictability,” Obasanjo added.

 

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