A farmers’ leader in Rivers has pleaded with the Federal Government to subsidise fertilisers and other agro inputs to enhance agricultural activities in the 2020 farming season.
Mr Godwin Akandu, the President, Etche Farmers’ Cooperative Union said subsidising fertilisers and other inputs would enhance productivities during this year’s farming season.
Akandu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Port Harcourt that the impact of coronavirus pandemic might cause food shortage and hunger.
He said that government should think ahead by ensuring that agro inputs and fertilisers were massively provided ahead of the planting season.
“I commend the government for proactive steps taken towards containing the coronavirus disease so far.
“My candid suggestion is that measures should also be put in place to ensure fertilisers and other inputs are made available to ensure we have foods on our tables.
“Lack of access to fertilisers and agro chemicals would definitely affect food sufficiency not only in the state but the country in general,’’ he said.
Akandu stressed the need for law enforcement agents to abide by the directive to allow food processing outlets to provide foods to Nigerians amidst the restriction of movement due coronavirus.
According to him, the activities of security operatives have adversely affected the processing and supply chain, especially in the processing and selling of agro products such as garri and other cassava value chain.
“A huge percentage of our buyers hardly come to our local markets due to the sit-at-home directive by government.
“Presently, we have been harvesting and processing cassava and these produce and other by-products have very short storage period since we do not have advance technology of storage facilities yet,” he said.
He urged government to further enforce its e-wallet and Growth Enhancement Programs (GES) system where farmers usually got there fertilisers via digital distribution platforms.(NAN)