Mr Samuel Meshi, Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Nasarawa State
chapter, has decried the low turnout of states at the ongoing 2022 National Agricultural Show in the state.
Meshi made the remarks at the Nasarawa State Special Day at the show taking place at Karu local government area of the state on Thursday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the National Agricultural Show is organized annually by the National Agricultural Foundation of Nigeria, in collaboration with the Nasarawa Government.
The 2022 event with the theme “Small Holder Farming: The Challenges of Climate Change, Insecurity and Production Costs”, started on Monday and is expected to conclude on Friday.
Meshi expressed shock and disappointment over the low turn out of participants from across the country, given the fact that the agricultural show was a national event.
“This event is not viewed as local event of Nasarawa state but it is a national event.
“All other states should be encouraged to participate because if you look at it now, we just have about two or three states that are here,” he said.
He called on relevant authorities to make subsequent National Agricultural Shows mandatory for all states so participation can improve and all farmers across the country can, through the show, have a sense of belonging.
Meshi also called for support from the Nasarawa Government for farmers in the state by subsidising the high cost of fertilizer inputs, improving security for farmers in their farmlands and mitigating the impact of flooding.
This will prevent the farmlands from being washed away to the detriment of farmers and the state at large.
Reacting to the low turnout, Mr Nuhu Oshafu, Nasarawa State Commissioner for Agriculture and Water Resources, blamed it on political activities taking place across the country in preparation for the 2023 general elections.
“The low turn out is as a result of elections coming up. You know, everywhere, every state is
preparing for the general elections next year. So you don’t expect to see people around here, unlike last year when the crowd was much,” he said.
Gov. Abdullahi Sule, represented by Oshafu, commended National Agricultural Foundation of Nigeria for its consistence in organizing the annual event.
He described the effort as impetus to all stakeholders to intensity efforts towards agricultural practices.
“To us in Nasarawa state, the continual hosting of this annual event in the state is an a
cknowledgement of the fact that the state occupied a strategic position in the agricultural potentials of the country,” he said.
He said Nasarawa State was blessed with about 2.7 million hectares of land, out of which 750,000 were arable while enjoying good climate condition and different soil textures suitable for the cultivation of various crops for domestic consumption and exportation.
“This endowment has attracted over 80 per cent of our population into the farming activity or the other.
“However, over the years, majority of farmers have been subsistent, relying largely on simple manual tools and obsolete production technology with the low productivity,” he said.
He explained that the situation led his administration to evolve new techniques that would enable the elimination of major production constraints by mobilizing, sensitizing and empowering small, medium and large scale farmers,t achieve optimum productivity.
He called on the private sector to invest in agriculture, to make the sector regain its full pride of place as the cornerstone of Nigeria’s economy.
In his remarks, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, Chairman, Board of Trustees of the National Agricultural Foundation of Nigeria, commended Nasarawagovernments, including the past for their contribution in initiating and continuously hosting the National Agricultural Show annually.
Adamu, represented by Hajiya Aisha Ibrahim, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, assured that the foundation would continue to partner the Nasarawa Government in the areas that shall lead to the development of the. sector (NAN