The Mararaba chapter of Yam Sellers Association has called on the federal and state governments to grant soft loans to farmers so as to boost agricultural production.
The Chairman of the association, Alhaji Abubakar Ubalabour, made the call on Wednesday in an interview with newsmen in Mararaba, Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
He appealed to that government at all levels to also provide farmers with modern farm inputs, while ensuring the timely distribution of fertilisers to boost food production across the country.
He said that early distribution of fertiliser would enhance the cultivation of yams and other crops.
“My appeal goes to the government for them to provide machinery like tractors and other farm inputs to farmers at subsidised rates in order to boost food production in the country.
“The provision of modern farm inputs to the farmers will not only help fight poverty, hunger, and unemployment but will also improve the revenue base of the country.
“It will improve the citizens’ standard of living and stimulate the socio-economic development of the country,’’ he said.
Ubalabour pledged the association’s commitment to supporting the government’s agricultural programmes which had direct bearing on the lives of the people.
The chairman urged President Muhammadu Buhari to consolidate on his achievements in the agricultural sector by tackling the menace of insecurity.
“We can only go to Plateau, Benue, Niger and other parts of the country to transact yam business if there is peace.
“That is why I want to call on both the federal and state governments to tighten up security across the country.
“This is because the security situation in a country plays a vital role in boosting food production and availability.
“Nobody, be it business man or woman, will like to invest or transact business in areas there is crisis. Peace is a necessary requirement for the development of any society,’’ he said.
Ubalabour added that farmers and other Nigerians could only enjoy the fruits of their labour when there was peace.
He underscored the need for the federal and state governments to always prioritise security issues that would enhance the citizens’ safety.
He also stressed the need to develop the agricultural sector, saying that agriculture was the major source of livelihood for most families and nations.
Ubalabour, therefore, said that the importance of agriculture to the survival, growth and development of any society could not be over-emphasised.