Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has said that the Muhammadu Buhari Presidency has a clear idea on how to execute its agricultural policy to achieve self-sufficiency in food production, and diversify the economy in the process.
Speaking today at a meeting in his office with a delegation of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, and the Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria, alongside Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu, the Vice President praised rice and wheat farmers, saying “farmers are among the most important people in Nigeria today.”
According to Prof. Osinbajo, by launching the CBN Anchor Borrowers financing initiative in Kebbi State, while also flagging-off the dry season rice and wheat farming late last year, what the President did was setting-off an agricultural revolution without saying so. He added that President’s action also “showed he had a clear idea of how to execute a formidable agricultural policy.”
“The President said it throughout the campaigns that pursuing an active agriculture policy in rice and wheat would be important,” said Osinbajo, because Nigerians consume them, and importing more of both, even though these are crops that the country has the capacity to grow locally.
In their remarks, the presidents of both associations expressed satisfaction with the support rice and wheat farmers are now receiving from the federal government.
According to Mallam Aminu Goronyo, the President of the Rice Farmers Association, before the coming of the Buhari presidency, “farmers in Nigeria were considered useless people on the streets, but now farmers are kings.”
As a proof, he disclosed that banks are now soliciting farmers to open accounts, even offering banking services on the farms. He added that people have also been offering farmers credit lines for purchases. “We have not been having this kind of respect before, we have become kings today,” Goronyo stated.
The President of the Wheat Farmers Association of Nigeria Salim Saleh Mohammed said most rice farmers were also wheat farmers, adding that the productivity level of both sets of farmers have already gone up.