President Muhammadu Buhari has been called upon to urgently ensure funds are made available to farmers for them to procure seedlings, chemicals and all other necessary materials during the planting season.
President and Publicity Secretary of Cocoa and Plantain Farmers Association of Nigeria (CPFAN), Messrs Joseph Ayodele and Otong Ubong respectively made the appeal in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on Saturday after a virtual meeting by the leadership of the association.
They lamented that some of their crops were damaged by insects which had made many of them run bankrupt.
According to the statement signed by the duo, the farmers lamented paucity of finds and unavailability of chemicals and farm equipment needed for cultivation in the ongoing planting season.
They appealed to President Buhari to order Central Bank of Nigeria to urgently provide funds to farmers through the appropriate agency so they could procure seedlings, chemicals and hire labourers to work on their farms.
The statement reads inter alia: “We appreciate President Muhammadu Buhari for his efforts in turning around the agric sector to boost the nation’s economy.
“The real improvement recorded in different agricultural produce was noticed during the outbreak of Coronavirus as we were forced to rely on our farm produce to survive.
“Rice and other food items grown locally have been our means of survival as we couldn’t import from other countries since all borders are closed.
“We are calling on President Buhari to order Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through the Agency saddled with the responsibility of farmers Loans to release the loans meant for farmers because we are in planting season. They should release money to plantain, beans, wheat and cocoa farmers across the nation indiscriminately and without delay.
“Most importantly, many of our crops have been damaged by strange insects and a lot of us have even gone bankrupt because many of us got loans to cultivate the farms.
“So, we need government intervention urgently to help replant the crops being destroyed to cushion the loss we have incurred.
“We appreciate the Minister of Agric for his efforts in ensuring the sector experienced serious boost. Now that it’s planting season, we will need all necessary implements and equipment to enhance our cultivation activities on our farms.”
They, therefore, appealed to President Buhari not be carried away by the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic at the expense of agriculture.