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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Empower small-scale farmers, get a hunger-free nation – Farmers

Nigeria farmers have said that the empowerment of small-scale farmers in the country would engender a hunger-free nation.

The farmers under the aegis of Voice for Food Security (CFS) and Association of Small-Scale Agro Producers in Nigeria (ASSAPIN), in their manifesto made available to NaijaAgroNet, also said that investment on farmers will make Nigeria a stronger nation.

They called on governments at all levels to meet the 2003 African Union (AU) Maputo Declaration of an irreducible benchmark of a minimum of 10 per cent of national budgets to be allocated to agriculture.

They noted that AU’s commitment was demonstrated in 2010 when the union reaffirmed the 10 per cent minimum allocation by setting a new timeline of 2015 for all African countries to meet the benchmark.

The groups further asked for a 60 per cent of the agriculture allocation to be put aside for small-scale farmers.

For the two groups, women should be given special consideration in any new agricultural policy, sustainable development and investment plans as their roles as farmers could be overlooked in Africa and particularly in Nigeria.

Yinka Awosanya/LS
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