An agriculture economist, Dr Thaddaeus Thompson, has called on the federal government to directly communicate policies with farmers as the country gears up for the diversification of its economy through agriculture.
He made the call in the light of the ignorance about government policies on agriculture by most farmers who have no idea of the direction of policies that concerns them.
Thompson said that the government should descend to the level of the farmers in the various value chain so that they can understand and key into what the policies intend to achieve on food sufficiency and security.
He said, “However, to arrive at lasting solutions, the problems must be researched, identified, resolved, and evaluated. With this fact, the role of producers and farmers in Africa, particularly Nigeria, must be paramount and placed at the beginning of discussions involving the path to a lasting solution in food-sufficiency. Why are producers and farmers ignored in the process of identifying the problems they face? Rather than communicating with local farmers, the communication about the farmer’s plight is discussed in conference rooms in America and Europe.
“First, the geographic conditions in Miami are different from that of Maiduguri. How do you expect the Miami-based farmer to better understand the conditions facing the Maiduguri farmer? The point here is not to undermine the resourceful insights from beyond the borders of Nigeria; it is to emphasise the importance of involving the voice of the locals that are vested with producing food for the nation.”
He also decried the poor maintenance culture of government assets in the past, particularly farm machines, and therefore charged government and farmers to be conscious in managing farm machines for optimal food production.
Source: Nigeria’s Most Influential News