From Okwe Obi, Abuja

Executive Secretary, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), Prof Garba Sharubutu, has clarified that President Bola Tinubu’s declaration of state of emergency on food security was beyond committing funds to spur food production.

Sharubutu, who spoke to members of the Agriculture Correspondents Association of Nigeria (ACAN), yesterday in Abuja, explained that the involvement, training, and education of commodity associations, in the food security campaign would boost food production.

According to him, most farmers who are members of such associations listen only to their leaders without having a broader perspective on how to cultivate crops in line with evolving global practice and methodologies .

The former Provost of the Federal College of Animal Health and Production Technology, Vom, Plateau State, said farmers should collaborate with the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) on climate change directives before cultivating crops.

He said: “We need a closer collaboration with our farmers, commodity associations and meteorological unit.

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“If you recall when President Tinubu was talking about the declaration of a state of emergency, he said he wants to revive the commodity associations.

“Some of these farmers listen more to the leadership of their association much more than they listen to government, why because the politicisation of our polity in itself makes some people not to listen to certain radios, not to listen to television programmes. They listen to what they want to hear.

“So we think that the commodity associations will do better if they actually key into the programmes of government.

“Most of the associations were gearing up towards how much budget is going to be made so that they will be able to manipulate and get these resources to reach the farmers.

“The declaration of emergency is not just about pumping more money, it is also about education. And I call on our commodity associations to please key into this policy by way of educating their members as to the viability of some of these things we preach on.

“Let us listen to the Nigeria’s meteorological department.”