Katsina State chapter of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has faulted the recent decision of the Nigerian Customs Service legalising the importation of rice through land borders.
The state chairman of AFAN, Dr Yau Umar Gojogojo urged the government to reconsider the policy insisting that it was capable of discouraging local production.
Gojogojo said adopting the policy at a time when the nation needed to adopt measures to boost farming “including the cultivation of rice for which we have fertile lands, is to say the least, counter-productive.”
“What the government need to do and should be seen doing is for it to provide enabling environment including making improved rice seeds available and accessible to farmers,” he noted.
“Once this is done, our farmers can cultivate enough rice for both local consumption and for export” he added even as he lauded the Senate for condemning the policy.
The Katsina AFAN boss said what the nation needed at this time of dwindling revenue from oil was to aggressively pursue the farming option noting “once government will use the advice of specialists and real farmers, we will attain the much needed food security”.
He stressed that to boost farming and ensure that the nation attains food security and self-sufficiency, the government must genuinely look at the issues of providing improved seeds and encourage constant soil test so as to ascertain the suitability of crops in a given area.
“Government needs to provide equipment for soil measurements because we need a good understanding of our soil through accurate tests.