By Christian Njoku
Calabar, Aug. 3, 2020 Mr Etim Nakanda, the Chairman of All Famers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Cross River Chapter, says farmers in the state have yet to feel the impact of Gov. Ben Ayade’s agricultural revolution programme.
Nakanda made the assertion in an interview with Newsmen in Calabar on Monday.
He said AFAN members in the state had not been supplied farm inputs such as fertilisers and improved variety of cassava stems as well as equipment.
The chairman said the state government should show more care about the plights of the farmers in the state and what they experienced on daily basis.
Nakanda, however, said some farmers in the state had benefited from the Federal Government’s intervention through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Anchor Borrowers Programme for rice and cassava farming.
According to him those members who had not benefitted from the anchor borrowers programme have gone back to the primitive farming system of using hoes and machetes.
“Every time, we hear about agricultural revolution in Cross River. I think what they have is government revolution and not agricultural revolution because it has not yet touched down.
“It is the many small holder farmers in Cross River that feed this state and they are really the ones in dire need of assistance from the state and federal governments.
“There is no supply of improved variety of cassava stems for farmers as we used to have.
“We need day-old chicks, fingerlings, fertilisers, oil mills, fishing nets, storage facilities across the 18 Local Government Areas in the state as well as a micro finance bank with realistic demands,” he said.
Nakanda, who is also the Chairman AFAN in the South-South, added that some of the items that they needed could be given to them free while others should be supplied to them to be paid for in instalments.
“Governments really needs to come to the aid of farmers. I say so because as the chairman of farmers in the state, I can say we have not felt the impact of government, except on radio and television,” he said.
Contacted, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Okon Owuna, said that he was not aware of the farmers ‘s complaint.
“Non of them has come to my office to make a case. We are doing our best as a state to attract both national and international intervention to get the farmers to be better off.
“So, as much as I know, all farmers are carried along in our agricultural revolution.
“Today we are having a town hall meeting to kick off the agricultural development scheme project in the state and all stakeholders are invited.
“It is in this town hall meeting that complaints of various value chains are addressed ” he said.