The federal government has urged farmers to deepen collaborations that would strengthen the agricultural sector and diversify the nation’s economy.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammad Abubakar, made the appeal in Abuja during the National Farmers Day Celebration.
Mr Abubakar stated that agriculture is a sector people can continue to diversify into without end, noting that agriculture “can never end, as long as humanity exists, and we must come together to move the country forward through agriculture.”
“The economy was depending on oil and gas for our foreign exchange and development until the inception of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, who initiated agriculture as the way forward for Nigeria,” stated the minister. “The smallholder farmers consisting of women and youths constitute 70 per cent of the production of food in this country, and we cannot do without them. The ministry has been working with the smallholder farmers to achieve the objectives of the president to move the nation forward through agricultural diversification of the country.”
Farouk Mudi, the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) president, said the event would allow agricultural stakeholders, especially agro-allied industries, to meet each other.
“It will also enable them to establish linkages and synergies that can take farming to the next business level through mechanisation and agricultural and industrial development. Farmers’ Day is here to stay,” stated Mr Mudi.
He added, “It gives me great pleasure to address this August assembly of Nigerian farmers. AFAN is pleased to have you all here as you came from the nooks and crannies of our great country Nigeria to showcase our rich agricultural practices and services.”