The United Integrated Farmers Association of Nigeria (UNIFAN) has called on the government to transform the agricultural sector through a reformation of the Land Use Act and the use of an accurate database of farmers, adding that the government should be sincere in its agricultural policy in order to ensure food security.
Akinlami Aduragbemi, the president of the association, asserted that Nigeria could no longer afford to lag behind in the application of good agricultural practices while calling for the training of active and potential farmers in the agricultural sector to maximize the utilization of agricultural inputs.
He remarked that this reformation should start with effective data collection on all the farmers under various commodities within Nigeria, adding that “to win war against food insecurity, we must know how many farmers who are actually fighting against hunger and how many who are out from time to time.”
Aduragbemi further explained that there is a need to reform the present Land Use Act given that millions of small-scale farmers cannot qualify for agricultural loans due to the unfavorable nature of existing land laws, which negatively affect small-scale farmers who are unable to easily secure title documents for their farmlands.
“Many states like FCT had even placed an embargo on the issuance of C of O for more than two years, meaning the issue of collateralization of loans to farmers in such state had become impossible.
“The duty of the state is to provide security and welfare for the citizens. Food is an important aspect of welfarism and farmers are the food soldiers in that area.
“Therefore, the chief welfare providers (Nigerian president, via the Minister of Agriculture and the Commissioner from time to time should engage the farmers, they know where to address the situation.”