Emmanuel Peters, Gombe
The Chairman All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Gombe State chapter, Mr. Banyulla Halla, have disagreed with the federal government claims of exporting yams to other countries of the world.
The Chairman made the assertion when a group of journalists visited him in his office.
Recall that recently the federal government of Nigeria through the minister of Agricultural, Audu Agbe, declared that the current administration has embarked on exportation of agricultural products particularly yams and rice to other countries of the world.
In his reaction to the claims, Mr. Halla said, he only hears about the exportation of yams on the air and newspapers but he is yet to witness it. “I am yet to witness it, I am yet to see it, I only read and hear it on air,” he said.
Chairman who identified some critical challenges farmers are facing in the country. And he pointed the issue of delay in supply of fertilizers to farmers, saying, farmers always get fertilizer supplied to them very late during the farming seasons and this goes along way in hampering with the farming production in the country.
Another area he lamented on, is on the area of accessing Agricultural loans. Stating that despite the federal government promises to support farmers with soft-loans in order to enable them expand the scale of their farming activities yet nothing has been done about it. “The problem we are facing as farmers are very many, I just mentioned that of fertilizer, and this one is also one of them. Getting loan from government is not easy as we hear it. Because some time you access it very late and some other time you don’t even access it all. And without this soft-loans, we farmers, we find it difficult to expand our farms into commercial qualities,” he stated.
He further expressed concern over lack of agricultural equipment for farmers to embark on mechanization farming in Nigeria, saying that for the federal government to achieve its dream of exportation of farming products to other countries can only be achieved via mechanization farming. “You know mechanising farming practice helps farmers to farm in large scale. It is practiced in most countries of the world. We farmers, we need it because it is less stressful. We want the government to help us and make this available and affordable,”added.
Speaking on fulani herdsmen attacks in the country, Mr. Halla said, Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo with the traditional rulers in the state have done a lot by creating mutual relationship between the fulani herdsmen and the farmers. He stated further that the ralft between the fulanis and farmers in Gombe is very minimal. He commended the effort of the state governor for maintaining peace, law and order in the state.
Meanwhile, he called on the federal government to put more effort on issues that has to do with farmers in the country. Adding that without farmers the nation will be at risk.