Taraba : Insecurity has made Agricultural Activities difficult Reducing Production – AFAN

Emmanuel Awari-Jalingo

The insecurity been experienced in the state has greatly reduce farming activities thereby making it difficult to farmers to produce more food in the state.

The State Chairperson of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria AFAN, Hajiya Laraba Amina Abdul, disclose this during the sales of fertilizer and other farm inputs for the 2023/2024 Dry session irrigation farming held at Farmer’s Unity Hall, TADP, Jalingo.

She said that All farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) is an umbrella body of all farmers’ associations in Nigeria. It is a Non-Governmental, Non-religious, Non-Political and non-ethical.

“The association pursues the promotion, protection and defends the interest of all farmers, Commodity associations, and cooperate producers, handlers of all agric alíed commodities with its national Headquarters in Abuja.

“Taraba state is been blessed as Natures Gift to the nation, it is an agricultural state endowed with substantial natural and human resources.

“Today agriculture is the only profitable sector and sustainable venture in Nigeria particularly in Taraba State.

“The sector is critical for generating employment in rural areas, supporting the economy in farming communities and ensuring food security.

“The sector has an essential role to play in improving Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP). AFAN in one of its major roles is to identify public and individual stakeholder’s partnering to ensure that drudgery associated with on-farm and off-farm activities are minimized to achieve self-sufficiency in food production.

She appreciated the company, Global Multi – Purpose Cooperative Society Limited for its support.

“Today we are celebrating one of our partnering bodies, Global Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society Limited”.

“Global Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society Limited is the organization that provides AFAN in the Northeast region, Taraba State inclusive with fertilizer & other farm inputs at a subsidized rate, where farmers pay fifty percent (50%) cash and the balance of fifty percent (50%) after harvest in year round season.

The state Chairperson said that she have achieved in the areas of, ensuring that Local Government and ward executives were elected and inaugurated in the sixteen (16) Local Government Areas and the two (2) development areas,
Three (3) women were empowered with dry season farming kits in the state and Forty-two (42) youths drawn from all the LGA of Taraba State were trained,on e-naira and nine Mobile close user group (CUG)

Others are, Four (4) Truck of NPK 15:15:15 fertilizer from Global Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society, was sold to our farmers at a subsidized rate at two installments during rainy season farming, AFAN Taraba state is a member of European Union (EU) in mitigation ot conflict resolution between farmers and herders in Taraba State and AFAN Taraba state is also a member of International Organization Migrant
(IOM), Today we are witnessing another achievement for 2023/2024 dry season fertilizer sales.

She pointed out challenges faced by farmers to include,
Labour saving devices:- insufficient tractors and their implements, solar,irrigation pumps and sprinklers, Lack of extension agents at the grassroot level to update the farmers on modern techniques on on-farm and off-farm activities.

“Insecurity has made agricultural activities difficult thereby reducing agricultural production in the state.

“Lack of accessibility to mechanized machineries to reduce drudgery associated with farming activities which would have attracted the youths to farming business.

“Difficulties in accessing loan facilities from commercial banks and sometimes if accessed, the interest rate is very high.

Others are, Lack of laboratory and laboratory test kits has contributed to the low yield of farm produce and Lack of modern storage facilities in the state.

According to her, AFAN has its challenges which include, Lack of office accommodation, Lacks of mobility that will enable her supervise the activities of farmers at the grassroot in the state and Financial supports from the Government to enable her organize seminars and workshops for farmers in the state in order to update their knowledge.

Hajiya Laraba Amina Abdul suggested ways forward to include, Labour savings devices should be available and at affordable rate to the farmers, Extension agents should be recruited and trained, so that they can go back and train the farmers at the grassroot and More attention should be given to addressing insecurity in the state. Others are, Accessibility to loan facilities and interest rate lessened to single digit, Government should assist in building a standard laboratory in the state and be equipped for soil test to ensure proper utilization of fertilizers, Government should assist in providing storage facilities at both state and Local Government levels and Government, spirited individuals, Organizations and institutions should assist AFAN by providing office accommodation and mobility for the smooth running of the organization.

“I want to appreciate His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Taraba State Dr. Agbu Kefas, the speaker Taraba State House of Assembly, Honourable members of TRHA here present, Hon. Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security Prof. Nicholas N. Oliver, Royal Fathers for attending the occasion – she said.

Speaking, the Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Taraba State, Dr. Yakubu Ayuba Zira said that the Ministry has been intervaining in various areas of the Agricultural activities in the state, adding that the ministry is trying its efforts by organizing various programs for farmers.

He salute the courage of the State Chairperson for having grassroot farmers at heart.

According to him, the Federal Government have signed MOU with John Deere tractor company for the supply of Tractors.

“Taraba State is blessed with verse land, but have not been developed.

He said that the Ministry have trained extension agents in Zaria, who will intend train others at the grassroots level.

The Director, urged farmers to partner with private companies rather than relying on government.

“The government is overstressed, it has a lot of things on its head. It cannot carry everything – he said.

Speaking, the Zonal Coordinator, AFAN, Alhaji Iro, appreciated the State Chairperson, describing her as a woman like a man.

“She is the first AFAN Chairperson in the Northern part of Nigeria.

He said that AFAN is in collaboration with Global Multi Purpose Cooperative Society for the supply of farm inputs to farmers in the state.

“I urged stakeholders to add efforts on farming, for farming is the major income in the country. The country has all what it takes to feed and generate income.

He disclose that Nigeria is the only country that government gives less attention to farming activities.

“We only see it on paper, but doesn’t reach the pissant farmers.

“Even AFAN as an umbrella body has no facilities such as Offices, Operational vehicles amongst others.

“I want to tell you that most of those who go to Pilgrimages, both Christian and Muslims generate their monies from farming.

“Go to Israel, see how farming activities are going on. Other countries are progressing by using technology, but in Nigeria, it always ends in paper – he said.

On his part, the Managing Director, Global Multi Purpose Cooperative Society, Chief Abuchi Nwezulu appreciated Governor Kefas Agbu for his efforts in the Agricultural sector.

“Our movement is for progress. Our mission is to ensure that farmers cultivate the land, if not, it will not be Boko Haram, but Boko Hunger.

“All hands must be on deck to achieve this, if only farmers in Taraba State would be sincere.

He assured Taraba farmers that they will surely get their fertilizers.

“The era of farmers paying for fertilizers but not see it, have now been a thing of the past.

He disclose that his organisation is working towards using Solar system to water farms for irrigation farming.

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