By News Desk
The Maize Association of Nigeria (MAN) has raised concerns over Federal and State Governments subsidy programme designed to assist farmers in the country to boost food production.
They added that the programme does not often get to the targeted farmers to yield the desired results for food production in the country.
The association called on government at all levels to look into ways of mitigating issue of food insecurity as one of the measures to cushion the effect of COVID-19 on the agricultural sector.
In an interview with newsmen on Monday, the MAN chairman, Oyo State Chapter, Raji Ayandele, who raised the concerns on Monday in an interview with newsmen in Ibadan, urged Federal and State Governments to adopt proactive measures to address food insecurity occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.
Ayandele said since COVID-19 was a global issue and that farmers were one of the most exposed, saying, this in itself was a threat to food security.
The MAN chairman appealed to the government to assist farmers financially, especially those in the rural areas, in good time so as to enable them utilise the planting season.
He urged the government to assist the farmers facing hardship with a high cost of inputs such as quality seeds, chemicals, fertiliser, inadequate farm mechanisation equipment, and lack of access to low-interest loan facilities.
“We also need assistance in tackling lateness in delivering facilities for the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) and unregulated market prices that result in a shortage of farm produce. We also need assistance in periodic human capacity building on modern trends in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and subsidy where applicable.
“Whereas maize farmers are urged to go to the farm to produce enough so as to prevent hunger in the nation, we call on the government to give proper support to farmers. This will ensure that farmers return to their farms fast enough to save the situation at hand,” he added.