Experts have said the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) of the Federal Government has not achieved the intended results four years after its launch due to inadequate infrastructure.
According to them, when policies are not backed up by infrastructure such as good road networks, preservation technologies, adequate electricity supply, creation of enabling environment for farmers and credit facilities to value chain players, such policies are prone to failure.
President of the Agricultural Policy Research Network (APRINET), Dr Anthony Onoja, who said this during the fifth APRINET/USAID annual national multi-stakeholders’ forum, explained that though there had been a significant increase in food production, especially cassava, inability of farmers to transport the roots to the market due to bad road networks and high cost of transportation had led to a glut of the product.
He said: “The glut affected farmers negatively last year, making most of them to be discouraged and moved away from cassava production.”
Onoja maintained that to make agricultural policies relevant, farmers and the intended users should be carried along, saying any agricultural policies that did not involve the farmers would not succeed.
He said that APRINET had the primary mandate to bring agricultural stakeholders together to ensure inclusiveness in the agricultural policies in Nigeria.
He added that the essence of the forum was to bring about change in agricultural policies that are not favorable to Nigerian farmers and the masses.
President of the National Association of Nigerian Traders, Ben Ukwoha, stressed that research institutes should redouble efforts to produce research that would be beneficial to the farmers, enhance food security and bring agriculture out.
To achieve this, he mentioned that research institutes should not only deploy funds to paying workers’ salaries but also must ensure that they are innovative, producing new technologies.