Agbekoya Farmers Association says it has foiled a plot by some farmers to stage a nationwide protest calling for the sacking the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina.
The group’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olatunji Bandele, in a statement, on Thursday, claimed that the association was privy to some meetings held by those he described as “cabals” in agricultural sector and some farmers over the planned protest.
Bandele named the alleged non-direct involvement of farmers in the agricultural transformation agenda; lack of financial support; failure of the Growth Enhancement Scheme and E-wallet System, and the recent policy of the Federal Government to distribute cell phones to farmers as some of the complaints of those behind the threat.
He also quoted the association’s President-General, Chief Kamorudeen Okikiola, as saying the group would no longer allow cabals in the sector to have a field day.
The association, he added, had confidence in the Federal Government’s agricultural transformation agenda and the minister.
He said, “The President-General advised all Nigerian farmers to be patient with the minister and to avoid a situation where some people will use them to achieve their selfish interest.
“He advised the minister to hold an urgent meeting with the leaders of farmers’ association in order to avoid a situation where foreign farmers are brought into the country to implement the agricultural transformation agenda.
“Our agriculture sector is on the path of recovery with some of the transformation policy the minister had put in place. For the first time in the history of this country, we now have a database for our farmers, seed companies are now being assisted with loans, and farmers now get inputs and fertiliser directly through their GSM phones.
“Nigeria is now ready to sell cassava chips to international market, and the minister had also promised that Nigeria will stop importation of rice by the 2015. We also want to use this medium to call on the minister to find ways of assisting farmers’ associations to secure loan for their farmers at single digit interest rate.”