Previous governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu has blamed the agricultural arrangement of the past administration under previous President Goodluck Jonathan. He said the administration regarded agriculture as business alone as opposed to taking care of it as business and culture. Representative Adamu revealed this yesterday while talking at the first Daily Trust Agric Conference and Exhibition in Abuja.
“The immediate past government of PDP put policy on agriculture as business but agriculture is a culture of the people and should belong to the development aspect as well. If not treated as development also, what happens to the local smallholder farmers?” he queried.
“I say this because I am a farmer. My father was a farmer. We are farmers. We have farming in our blood. We are proud to be farmers. It’s not a crime to take agriculture to the next stage; more modern ways of production,” Senator Adamu stressed.
He maintained that not up 5% of the 75% farmers in the country do agriculture as business, saying 10 modern agribusiness farms doing well that the owners are proud cannot be seen in Nigeria.
“We are not producing enough. We still cannot feed ourselves. Even the farmers cannot feed the family conveniently. He has to buy from the market as well. Agric conferences like this must address these issues,” he said.
Senator Adamu lamented lack of access to agriculture credit and said Nigerian farmers were waiting to see the day government will come out with policy to compel banks to give loans to them. Interest free loans will help the farmers to grow, he added.
He said the banks only run around some farmers when it’s a grant from the government but the “hawks” would hijack it.
He advised the government to utilize the recommendations from agriculture conferences in order to move the sector forward.