The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has warned the Federal Government that the country’s national food system will face stiffer challenges if care is not taken to properly address its four cardinal components, namely production, processing, distribution and consumption, at this period of harvest.
Assistant Publicity Secretary, AFAN, Alhaji Salisu Mukhtar, who stated this in a reaction to the on-going Feed Nigeria Summit in Abuja, faulted the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) for organising such an important event this month, the height of the rainy season in Nigeria (North), without a national agricultural policy to replace the defunct APP launched in 2015. Also, he pointed out that the agric ministry excluded many key stakeholders in the country’s food system value chains, such as, AFAN, NASC, NAFDAC, the CBN (for its good work in the agriculture space), quarantine department, etc in the FNS event.
According to him, the several factors influencing food system in the country are seed, climate, soil health, water availability research, labour, waste management, energy and transportation, among others. To him, all these must also be considered in the evolution of a veritable policy by FMARD instead of prematurely making ineffective high sounding propositions to gain publicity at the expenses of neglecting critical agric policies. Mukhtar said: “It is nebulous that a “Feed Nigeria Summit” is taking place in August, the height of the rainy season in Nigeria (North), without a national agricultural policy to replace the defunct APP launched in 2015.
“The proposed NATIP (National Agricultural Transformation and Innovation Plan) is still in draft form awaiting validation from stakeholders in the six geopolitical zones, approval from the Federal Executive Council, the nod of NASS and a formal public launch to be able to hit the ground running. “There must be appropriation for it in the budget for it to take hold and be implemented too. “The attempt to do a “Feed Nigeria Summit” at this time is not well thought out as it even excludes so many sstakeholderers of the Food System, such as AFAN, NASC, NAFDAC, the CBN (for its good work in the Agriculture Space), quarantine department, etc.” While reacting to the agric minister’s invitation of a factional group in AFAN, the AFAN assistant publicity secretary said: “The invitation of one Faruk Rabi’u Mudi to represent AFAN by FMARD is an abuse of court process since there is a pending matter in the FHC, Abuja, slated for hearing on 27th September, 2021.
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