Published On: Tue, Jun 21st, 2016

Free Meal for Students: Afri-CASD urges FG to partner with Farmers

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By Doyin Ojosipe

The African Centre for Food, Agriculture and Sustainable Development (Afri-CASD) has advised the Federal Government to consider partnering with local farmers in order to be efficient while fulfilling its promise to Nigerians.

Feeding Nigerians Primary and Secondary Students with free meal was one of the campaign promises made by the Buhari led administration earlier in the year.

Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo had also reiterated the promise some months ago saying that the new Government was ready to focus on the free meal for school students project which is expected to create over one million jobs for Nigerian unemployed youths.

The Afri-CASD therefore reasoned that partnering with local farmers will help to boost food production and lesson post production loss rate.

Briefing Newsmen in Abuja, the Organization’s Director of Communications Mr. Bolaji Akindehinde said that if Federal Government could heed the advice, it will not only improve the economy but also motivate the Farmers as they will no longer be at the mercy of buyers who take advantage of them by under pricing their products.

In his words, “such gesture will be welcomed because farmers won’t continue to be at the mercy of buyers who take advantage of them due to poor sales and storage challenges; when government buys directly from them at a reasonable cost, they are fulfilled and propelled to plant more; bedsides youths will also be attracted to the sector, so the partnership is very vital.”

The Director also pointed out that provision of basic infrastructure like electricity was vital to fulfillment of the campaign promise, also emphasized on how partnering with local farmers will improve their lot.

“Imagine what will accrue to farmers if the federal or state governments patronize farmers directly through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development or State Ministry of Agriculture while implementing the free school feeding ,” he added.


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