A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) has lamented over the level of insecurity and inadequate funding for agricultural development in Kwara State.
In a communiqué issued after a town hall meeting with agro industry experts, the Executive Chairman, Kwara Agriculture Network, Mr. Al-Mustapha Ibrahim, said that other challenges hindering agricultural development in the state also included limited capacity to implement programmes and agricultural initiatives, lack of maintenance for agricultural machinery, high prices of poultry feed resulting in non-profitable ventures, outdated technology and processes leading to inefficiencies and delays in decision-making and political interferences for several agricultural interventions and schemes.
Ibrahim, stated that the current state of the agro industry in the state is disheartening, despite the numerous efforts of the state government under the leadership of the Governor of Kwara State, Mr. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, to promote inclusive agric sector development.
In particular, Ibrahim maintained that stakeholders are not experiencing the growth and development that are needed to sustain the state’s economy and its plans to feed the Kwara State citizens.
According to him, key areas identified by the industry experts and stakeholders in the communiqué, included issues associated with government bureaucracy, lack of innovations, poor funding of the sector, poor mechanisation, poor access to farm inputs, especially quality seeds, fertilizer, low access to processing and value addition facilities are key issues that should be addressed urgently.
In addition, he noted that food security in the state is further threatened by soil degradation and ongoing flooding and climate change in some parts of the state.
He, however, stated that the current state of agriculture has proven to be ineffective in addressing the needs of farmers and promoting sustainable agricultural practices.
“As a result, we are calling for a repositioning of the sector to better serve the agricultural community and ensure the long-term success of the industry,” he urged.
While touching on the solutions in the communiqué, the agricultural expert observed that there is need to increase funding, especially through provision of resources for irrigation for all-year round farming, create, update and utilise an up-to-date farmer data base, which would be used as the sole basis for government agricultural interventions.