All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) said, on Friday, that farmers in the conflict-torn North East zone of the country would return to their farms following the truce reached between the Federal Government and the Boko Haram Sect.
AFAN National President Kabir Ibrahim said this while reacting to the announcement of the ceasefire agreement by the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, in Abuja.
Ibrahim said it was a commendable move which would spur farmers’ return to the area.
He, however, stressed that if the truce was genuine, then the Federal Government should work towards sustaining the agreement to ensure lasting peace in the area.
He stressed that farmers in the area would require assistance to be able to return to the profession.
“We have to look at what the farmers had gone through and see what areas to help them in terms of seedlings, markets and processing outlets.
“Also, inputs like fertilisers should be given more than what others have received; if these are implemented, dealing directly with the farmers, they will come out of the wood work.”
He stressed the need for full engagement of the youths in agriculture, taking into cognizance the turmoil they had been through during the insurgency.
Echoing similar views, Dr Tunde Arosayin, AFAN’s National Technical Adviser, said farmers needed to be compensated with shelter, food, clothing and farm inputs.
He urged the state government and local government authorities to partner with the Federal Government and international organisations to rehabilitate displaced farmers through makeshift accommodations.
“We have to rebuild and reconstitute; so, soft landing is what the people displaced over a year need; most have lost everything, including lands, homes and even capital.
“I can tell you that over 80 per cent of those populations are willing to go back because as displaced people, they cannot access sizable lands for farming activities.
Arosayin maintained that the news of the ceasefire was indeed pleasing to all farming communities in the country. (NAN)