As Nigerians continue to groan and reel under economic recession some agric experts speak on quick recovery measures to rescue the situation.
A foremost member of Federation of Agricultural Commodity Association of Nigeria, FACAN, Abuja Chapter, Joshua Anajome, said the government should urgently take intervention measures by embarking on short, medium and long term agric policies and programmes to reduce the recession impact on Nigerians.
Anajome said: “Nigeria was not founded on oil revenue but agriculture, and today we have deviated from our roots and for us to come back to the roots we have to work together because one section of the economy cannot do it alone. “We need good land tenure system where people will have easy access to land for agricultural activities, including farm inputs and government policy interventions at all tiers of government.
“The government should fashion out policy that would make secondary and tertiary schools’ students to focus on agriculture. “With the current recession the government should come up with deliberate intervention policies and programmes which will be on short, medium and long term basis.
“On the short term government should see how farmers can be helped with subsidised inputs to farm all round the year with farm inputs, like improved seedlings, extension services, registration of cooperatives so that farmers can have impact on obtaining loans from banks because peasant farmers can’t assess loans. “The farmers should be provided with basic enabling environment by all tiers of government, and they should also integrate their policies and programmes, and not state government policies going a variance with federal government policies. “On the medium term after sorting out the basics at the short term we should add value to what we are doing.
Value addition will mean importing simple primary machinery or fabricating some locally because we have the iron ore industry in Nigerian now, and such industry should be supported because with the fabrication of the machines we can add value to the commodities before we export. “The long term should be the improvement of the short and medium term reviews, and projection into the future and help farmers by buying their products, which we as a country did in the past through the commodity boards.” He also added that the urgent measures to be taken by the government should be by subsidising high prices of staple food like rice, cassava, yam, all grains, beans, and also farm inputs to encourage farmers multiply production.
In his assertion, Interim Chairman of Federation of Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, Garba Ibrahim, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to set up a think-tank that would in a short term proffer sustainable economic solution to tackle the recession the country has been plunged into. “Nobody is comfortable with the word recession and is a great concern, because for a country to be in recession that country has to sit down and look at some economic fundamentals, why are we in recession, what lead us to recession and now we are in recession and if we are in recession we need to sit down and come out with viable issues, virtual plans, economic principles that will be able to reverse this trend. “What we need now is decision and action which should be done quickly.
What the government should do now is to get Nigerian experts involved in agriculture, and put them in a quiet place. “The best brains should be brought from the universities, polytechnics and also economists, and let Mr President tell them to get solution for the challenge of the economy. The various research institutes should also be involved and carried along because most of them have done researches on positive economic growth”, he stated.