A group, Nigeria Farmers Group and Cooperative Society (NFGCS) has urged the federal government to increase investment in agriculture in order to create jobs and ensure food security.
The group also noted that increased investment in agriculture would improve small scale farmers’ productivity and income through value chain development and encouragement of farmers’ cooperative groups.
The group during its third annual general meeting said increased investment in the sector would assist Nigerians in maximizing the potential available in the Agric sector.
The National Coordinator of NFGCS Mr Retson Tedheke while addressing newsmen at the meeting lamented that the farm inputs on the ground cannot meet with what the farmers need to produce locally.
He reiterated the need for investments in machinery, infrastructure, agro-processing, research, and every sector of the economy that is capable of supporting a massive revolution in agriculture.
His words: “Government should make loans cheaper for rice farmers, make the environment more conducive. Most of the challenges need to be solved so that we can maximize the potential available in the Agric sector.
“We cannot become competitive with a high loan interest rate, but we can become competitive when the loans are coming between five to 10 per cent. Those are some of the things that are making things easier for farmers in other countries.
“If we support local producers of rice in Nigeria, we are adding to the creation of employment.
“We are currently producing 2000 25kg bag of rice in a day, we are moving from that number to an excess of about 10, 000 bags every day before the end of the first quarter of 2020. But we need more assistance to meet up the demand”, he said.