Agriculture cannot survive without government subsidy

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By Retson Tedheke

Most times what Nigerians cannot explain and understand they call fraud or a Scam!

The Nigeria agricultural space is severely challenged. Those who ventured into large scale agribusiness in the last administration cam testify

Many have bevome bankrupt because they trusted the system and believed that gobernment would libe up to its promises and support for the sector.

I have been a victim because i trusted the system. I have been harassed called names, detained because i went into commercial agriculture counting on government support.

After spending 94days in EFCC Detention, they charged me with Asset Declaration. They never visited the 1,000 Hectares single largest community farm project in Ga’ate. They supposedly were too busy and they were willing to kill the farm because I personally honoured an invitation.

Among those in Government, who has been able to keep this type of project alive without looted funds? What people don’t understand is that everyday is battle to keep, crops and animals alive while ensuring that the workforce is understanding as well as they are reasonable.

We made mistakes thinking that when we invest and work hard, the system will help and make our work easier. We were wrong. The system kills and I am still here because I want to prove that we can make it work no matter the obstacle.

If Agricultural Loans go beyond 7% the farmer can no longer make money when the environment is not conducive the farmer dies. Tenure and Moratorium are golden, but Nigerians want it in the immediate and again I don’t blame anyone, if Government do their part well, we will not be as challenged as we are as farmers.

Every project that started with NFGCS FARM ESTATE in 2017 has collapsed, that is Private money gone and people’s hope lost. Then someone will tell me that the Private sector can drive agriculture and they lie that they have done it in the West, which of the Western nations? I am open to learning. How can private sector drive agriculture in a third world country? what backbone has government provided?

The USA, UK, EU That we so pontificate about make food production a National Security Issue not for profitability. The US does $30billion agricultural subsidies, UK does £2billion pounds annually and the EU did €307billion in 2023 alone on agricultural subsidies.

Thailand did $33billlion for Rice Farmers in 10years. President Buhari started with loans to farmers not subsidies but loans and only did $1billion in Eight years for an average of N140billion annually for all Nigeria Farmers without Infastructure, security, mechanisation, electricity, water, rural healthcare, etc and Nigerians believe government has done the world and food should be available, cheap and accessible.

Go and check how long it took, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, UK, USA and EU etc and you will know that we just want miracles and not a commitment to the long task of nation building.

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