Cross River State Ministry of Agriculture has stated its willingness to partner with All Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (AFAN) to alleviate poverty in the state. State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr Ukam Edodi, made this assertion in Calabar when the executive members of AFAN, Cross River chapter, visited him.
Mr Edodi described farming as one sector that has continued to sustain the lives of the ordinary man in spite of various challenges facing the sector. “I think that if more emphasis has been put on agriculture since independence, Nigeria would have been better placed than wholly depending on crude oil which has created uncertainty today,” he said.
The commissioner charged AFAN to be competent and resourceful and to look into processing and marketing along the value chain to help sustain the farmers and the economy. He assured them of the ministry’s willingness to assist within the limits of available resources and promised to work together with the leadership of AFAN.
State Chairman of AFAN, Mr Etim Nakanda, said their interest to add value through the processing, packaging and marketing of agricultural value chain would create employment directly. He added that this would also eradicate glut and post-harvest waste and appealed to the ministry to assist the association in capacity building of farmers, employing more Agricultural Project Officers and Extension Staff to provide advice to farmers.
Contributing, the Director of Agricultural Services, Dr Martina Ubi, advised AFAN to register with the Growth Enhancement Scheme of the ministry to enable its members to qualify as farmers in the state. According to her, this would help the farmers to access facilities such as loans and farm inputs from the government.
Source: Daily Independent, 3rd April 2015