Political Farmers Threaten Food Security — Sokoto Governor Warns

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News in brief:
- Sokoto State Governor has raised concerns about farmers exploiting government subsidies and undermining food security.

– He called for collaboration to identify genuine farmers, addressing both fraudulent practices and insecurity impacting food production.

Sokoto State Governor, Ahmad Aliyu Sokoto, has raised concerns about ‘political farmers’, who exploit government agricultural subsidies and pose a threat to Nigeria’s food security.

During a visit to the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, Governor Sokoto called for collaboration to identify genuine farmers and ensure subsidies reach intended recipients.

Further expressing his concerns, he said that farmers are using government subsidies intended to support genuine farmers and boost food production for something else. He claimed that the Federal Government has invested  billions of naira to achieve self-sufficiency but fraudulent practices continue to undermine them, according to a news report.

Additionally, the governor addressed the issue of insecurity impacting farmers, noting its contribution to food production shortfalls. He cited banditry as a major concern in Sokoto State, forcing farmers to abandon their lands. Seeking the Minister’s support, he proposed collaborations to tackle this challenge and ensure farmer safety.

Recognising the need for targeted support, Sokoto advocated for the identification of genuine farmers. He suggested establishing a state-level committee, collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Innovation and Digital Economy, to develop a mechanism for accurate identification. Without such measures, he said, government support risks failing to reach intended beneficiaries.

In response, Minister Kyari acknowledged the concerns raised by Governor Sokoto and affirmed the government’s commitment to implementing stricter measures. He outlined plans for stricter processes during both dry and wet seasons for key crops like rice, maize, and cassava. These measures aim to ensure transparent distribution of agricultural inputs and target genuine farmers effectively.

Kyari also emphasised the importance of collaboration between states, local governments, traditional rulers, non-governmental organisations, and relevant ministries to achieve these goals. He commended Governor Sokoto’s visit as a positive step towards strengthening the partnership between states and the federal government in their shared pursuit of food security and agricultural development.

However, analysts opine that this exchange between Governor Sokoto and Minister Kyari highlights the ongoing challenges facing Nigeria’s agricultural sector, particularly the issue of ‘political farmers’ and the impact of insecurity. They believe that their collaborative efforts and proposed solutions offer a beacon of hope for addressing these challenges and ensuring sustainable food production for the nation.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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