Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has assured Nigerian farmers of his commitment to invest massively in the entire agricultural value chain if he is elected president next year.
Tinubu gave the assurance on Thursday when he received farmers from the six geo-political zones of the country at his campaign office in Abuja, noting that investment in the nation’s agricultural sector must be prioritised as Nigeria holds the key to global food security.
Tinubu, who left his party’s campaign office for an emergency engagement after a brief meeting with other farmer groups, left his running mate, Kashim Shettima, behind to, on his behalf, address other groups of farmers, who came under the of umbrella of Asiwaju Farmers Forum.
Shettima disclosed that there were already strategic plans in the roadmap of his incoming administration to fortify the nation’s agricultural sector through the adoption of intermediate partnerships and enhanced agriculture practices that would guarantee increase yields and better job opportunities for the youths.
He expressed concern over the poor outputs being suffered by Nigerian farmers, resulting to huge annual loss as against the bumper harvests their counterparts in other parts of the world get, saying that there were also plans to address marketing constraints to promote exports of agro products from Nigeria to parts of Europe.He said: “The incoming Tinubu administration will invest massively in the entire agriculture value chain.
The whole mantra is on increase in yield.“The whole mantra is on increase in yield and we cannot achieve that without embracing or adopting intermediate and enhanced agriculture practice.“
I want to assure you on behalf of our principal, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, that we will align with you.“The future belongs to you. The trajectory of global food security is in Africa and it is Nigeria that will make or mar that trajectory.
The future of Africa, I mean that of the black race, rest on the people of this country. By 2050, Nigeria would be the third most populous nation on earth, with a population of over 400 million people.
We have the window of transforming the anticipated demographic trajectory into demographic dividends or it would be a demographic disaster that will consume all of us.
“We are going to work for you by God’s grace. The future belongs to you. Go to the interior of the slums and meet with the common man, anger is glaring in their faces.“
We need to work as a people, as a family for the good of our people. We have a problem of poverty and inequality in Nigeria and Nigerian has no reason to be poor because ours is one the big oil and gas nation blessed with tremendous arable land with tremendous solid minerals buried under the soil.
“Not only tin and columbite in Plateau and in Nasarawa where you are tilling the soil, they have plenty of mineral resources too. Most importantly, we have the human resources, we have the market to sell our products,”
Shettima said.He, however, appealed to Nigerians to look beyond statistics constantly being reeled out by the opposition political parties, and vote for people with proven records.He said: “This is why next year’s election will be different from all other elections. We have to emphasise on competence, capability, much more than any other yardstick.“
We will work for the enthronement of an enduring peace in this country. Most importantly, our focus will be grassroots social economy empowerment programme with agriculture as the centre piece.
“So we need to work on the people and there is no other better person with the skills to transform this nation greater than Asiwaju,” he added.
Earlier in his presentation, leader of the team, Mr. Retson Tedheke, who also doubled as the National Coordinator, Nigerian Famers Group and Cooperative Society (NFGCS), said their core objective is to encourage more youths to go into agriculture but government at all levels must be willing to commit more resources into the sector by providing better incentives for young farmers to make agriculture more attractive to them.
He, however, promised to team up with his colleagues in the sector to mobilise thousands of youths across rural communities in the country for the actualisation of the Tinubu-Shettima presidential project.“
We have the strength, we have the energy, we have the capacity, age is on our side and we will do it,” said Retson.[carousel_slide id='8496']