The Federal Government has been urged to allow access to abandoned government structures domiciled in rural areas for agricultural activities and the benefit of the rural masses.
The Oyo State Chapter of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) made this request during the distribution of equipment to grassroots farmers at the state secretariat of the association, in Ibadan, on Tuesday.
Speaking during the event, Chairman of the association, Engr John Olateru said it was unfortunate that the government’s properties meant for the development of the people continue to waste away.
“It is disheartening that their structures are rotting away,” Olateru said, expressing his displeasure at the state of things.
“Many of our members showed interest to make use of the structures but they told us that it is the same process as getting farm implements and equipment which we referred to as cumbersome,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has ordered the distribution of some farm implements and equipment to grassroots farmers in the state.
The chairman who supervised the distribution of the equipment said it was the first time that ‘real’ farmers are getting farm implements directly from the Federal Government.
He said that over the years the equipment was available in warehouses across the country, but it was always difficult for the real farmers to have access to them in their locality.
In his words: “This is the first time the real farmers are getting direct benefit of having access to the farm implements and equipment without stress.
“It is not that we don’t have those things in our warehouses in states across the country but the cumbersome process in accessing it makes it difficult to get to the real farmers.
“Before now, we have to write through the Director of Agric in Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in the state and follow it up by going to Abuja.
“We may need to spend days in Abuja which could affect our farms but now, they channel it to us through the Minister. We have received it and we are sharing it with our members in the state as you can see.”
The new development, Olateru added, means that Nigeria was now leaning towards achieving greatness as the benefits of the farmers can now get to them without much stress.
AgroNigeria can confirm that the equipment distributed included rice trans-planter, 3HP water pump, and multi-purpose thresher.
Other items included a drip irrigation kit with accessories tank, pump and solar panel and maize peeler and dehusk.
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