The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Cross River chapter, on Tuesday, pleaded with the State Government to reactivate the Agriculture Finance Department in its Ministry of Agriculture.
The farmers made the plea during a courtesy visit to the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Okon Owuna, in Calabar.
The Chairman of AFAN, South-South zone, Mr Etim Nakanda, said for many years, farmers in the state had not been able to secure agricultural loans due to the nonexistence of the department in the ministry.
Nakanda said without proper financing, it would be difficult for farmers to effectively carry out their farming activities and get good yields.
According to him, the state government has failed to carry farmers along, especially in the area of appointments, while farmers in the state championed the second term bid of Gov. Ben Ayade.
“We want AFAN to be carried along in government policies and also provide little financing for us to be able to run the association. We have not received anything in the past five years.
“We also demand that the office of AFAN in the state ministry of agriculture which has been locked for years be opened.
“We ask for means of mobility to enable us to reach out to farmers across the state, farm implements for modern agriculture, and support to enable us to attend agricultural events across the country,” he said.
Responding, the state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Okon Owuna, thanked the members of the association for their peaceful visit.
Owuna said that Gov. Ben Ayade’s administration had always taken agriculture seriously, especially the mechanisation of agriculture.
He said farmers should put their feet on ground and take the agricultural revolutionary activities of the state government seriously if they must become millionaires.
“Farmers must put themselves in a more organised way to be able to benefit from the various government initiatives for agriculture.
“The issue of office accommodation should be resolved immediately by the Director of Agricultural Services.
“I will invite you subsequently to see your work-plan and include it into the state government’s work-plan for better synergy,” he said.