Expert: Budget Above 10% Maputo Declaration on Agriculture

Dr. Olabode Adetoyi, a former Ekiti State commissioner for agriculture and food security and an investor in agribusiness, has encouraged the federal and state governments to increase the budget for agriculture to 25 per cent above the 10 per cent Maputo statement in order to save the country’s economy.
During a recent visit to his cassava farm in Ekiti State, he made this call while speaking to the Cassava Cooperative Farmers.
Adetoyi encouraged the government to concentrate on at least two important crops and livestock in each of the six geopolitical zones and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), in addition to increasing the budget for agriculture.
He stressed that affordable loans with a fixed interest rate are necessary to finance agriculture because no farmer can use bank loans with an interest rate of 30% to do any significant business in the sector.
Adetoyi also emphasized the significance of collaborations with tractor and farm equipment manufacturers to enter Nigeria.
He also emphasized the requirement that property be made accessible to large commercial investors for farming, which should not cause community unrest, as the high cost of acquiring land might be a deterrent to investment in agriculture.
“I want to suggest that the State and Federal Governments should raise the Maputo Declaration from 10% to 25% in order to save the economy.
In the six geopolitical zones and FCT, they should concentrate on at least two important livestock and crop types.
Cheap loans with a single interest rate should also be given attention, as no farmer can employ bank loans with a 30% interest rate to conduct any significant business.
Manufacturers of tractors and farm equipment should collaborate to travel to Nigeria.
Aside from the exorbitant expense of acquiring land, large commercial investors should have access to land for farming without upsetting the local community, according to Adetoyi.
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(C) Tribune NG

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