By Amgbare Ekaunkumo, Yenagoa
Farmers in Bayelsa have lamented the insensitivity of the state government towards the growth of the agricultural sector in the state, saying that the state government is not doing enough to boost up food production in the state.
The farmers made their position known at a one day stakeholders meeting organised by the Bayelsa State All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN with the theme “Revolutionizing Agriculture for foods, Jobs Availability, Wealth Creation and Healthy Living in Bayelsa State,”held on Thursday in Yenagoa.
In his remarks,Chairman of AFAN, Bayelsa State chapter, Mr Confidence Mac-Eteli, highlighted the challenges of farmers in the state to include lack of loans and grants to boost productions.
The chairman said lack of central agro-produce markets for farmers to sell their farm produce after production, among others, tasks the state government to come to the the aid of farmers by providing the enabling environment for farmers in the state.
Mr.Confidence said the stakeholders meeting was organised to bring commodity farmers across the local government areas to share ideas, exchange information, proffer solutions and chart the way forward on how to change the ugly narrative about agriculture in the state.
Mr Confidence maintained that the state government dismal support for farmers was responsible for the low morale of farmers in the state.
He said lack of central agro-produce markets for farmers to sell their farm produce after production, among others, tasks the state government to come to the the aid of farmers by providing the enabling environment for farmers in the state.
According to Mac-Eteli “Bayelsa farmers have not received any government support as regards to farmers’ inputs or loans to boost production in our farms.
“Today we are here to set a new ground. Farmers in Bayelsa State are now ready to move from subsistence farmers to commercial farming and from local to I best practices.
“We are here to discuss on some important projects programmes and set a nine point agenda as a vehicle to take us out of the pathetic and ugly situation we have found ourselves.
“The agenda include training and retraining, central agro-produce market, senatorial integrated demonstration farms, zero-waste land project, partnership, agricultural development clubs, website for AFAN, and AFAN State Secretariat.”