Agriculture: Groups differ on Buhari’s performance

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The Ondo chapter of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN) has scored President Muhammadu Buhari 90 per cent in agriculture, particularly in rice production and sales, in his eight years tenure.

Francis Aileme, RIFAN chair in Ondo, while assessing Mr Buhari’s eight-year regime on Tuesday in Akure, said many people now engage in upland rice farming not common in the state before.

“In the past, Ondo state grew about 1,000 metric tonnes of rice, but now more than that has been grown because people now see agriculture as a business due to Mr president’s involvement,” he said.

Mr Aileme, therefore, called on the incoming government to checkmate the activities of middlemen to boost food security in the country.

Abayomi Monilari, president of the Ondo State Farmers Congress, charged the federal government to shun ethnicity to improve the agricultural sector and better the economy of the country.

Mr Monilari, the chairman of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), the Ondo chapter, said the eight years of Mr Buhari in the agricultural sector would have been better.

According to him, if not for ethnicity, which some government agents introduced, the present regime would have been better in agriculture.

“Buhari would have performed much better in the agricultural sector but performed averagely because most of his programmes were done for the northern region alone,” Mr Monilari explained. “The president had done a lot in the agriculture sector, but in the southern part of the country, his impact could not be felt. It was one-way traffic.”

He alleged that the South did not “enjoy him; he performed woefully in terms of agriculture because there shouldn’t be ethnicity in government programmes and empowerments at the national level.”