Farmers across the country may suffer serious losses of assorted crops this year unless the federal government silos programe is completed and put to use, Technical Adviser of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Dr. Tunde Arosanyin, has said.
Speaking in Lokoja, Kogi State capital, Dr. Arosanyin said his warning became necessary in view of the fact that there is less than three months to the end of the raining season and the silos located in different parts of the country were far from being completed.
He praised the decision of the federal government to build 800 silos across the local government areas, but lamented that the project was taking several years to be completed.
He said the delay in completing the silos will greatly affect the farmers’ activities in the country, pointing out that farmers will continue to experience the same losses like they did in previous years due to lack of silos to store their crops.
Arosanyin was of the view that until the silos were completed, and the crop processing zones across the country became functional, the agricultural transformation agenda of the federal government will remain a mirage.
“Nigeria is paying lip service to agriculture and failed to honour the Maputo Declaration it signed in 2002 that African countries should devote 10 percent of their annual budget to agriculture. This year’s budget was just 3.2 percent which is a far cry from the Maputo Declaration,” he said.
He said that until Nigeria saw the need to make agriculture one of the vibrant sectors of the economy and take the country away from the mono-economic dependence on oil, the transformation agenda will not achieve its aim.