The National Secretary of Kenaf Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (KEPPMAN), Apostle Kunle Amosu has declared that farmers across the country were not happy with the policies of the Federal Government.
Amosu made this revelation at the farmers’ empowerment for Kenaf production in Oyo, Osun, and Ogun states, sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development held at Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Ibadan.
The association’s scribe who said Nigeria cannot move forward with the use of manual equipment in agricultural production noted that farmers empowerment was beyond seed distribution but “creating a workable synergy between farmers and government at all levels”.
Amosu while urging governments at all levels to “invest in mechanise farming rather than the current ways of handling it”, added that “giving out seeds to farmers without proper training and monitoring will be tantamount to wastage.
“Farmers in the country are not happy with the way things are going. A situation where farmers are being given seeds only cannot take us anywhere. We should move from manual production to modern and commercial farming. The use of manual will not take us anywhere. In this twenty first century, we cannot achieve anything with manual farming.
The Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe who was represented by the southwest regional director of federal ministry of Agriculture and rural development, Mr Ogunwale Joseph Adeniyi commended the organisers for keying into the agricultural revolution of the present administration.
“The robust re-engineering of the agricultural sector of the federal government to boost agricultural productivity, reduce our dependency on food importation, revive rural economy, expand export earning, agro-chemicals and training of stakeholders and as well as other sacrifices is yielding positive result in our economy today.”
The Executive Director of Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IAR&T), Professor James Adediran in his welcome address, said Kenaf has proven potential for import substitution in Nigeria’s packaging industry thus saving the country huge foreign exchange committed to importation of produce bags.
He noted that in an attempt to promote production of Kenaf as raw materials for the packaging industries in Nigeria and possibly other countries in Africa, the federal ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is collaborating with IART for development and dissemination of appropriate production, processing and utilisation technologies for crop across the country.