Farmers in Bayelsa want the Federal Government to ensure that its Agricultural programmes and policies in the Niger Delta benefit those in States and rural communities directly.
The farmers who made the call in separate interviews with Radio Nigeria in Yenagoa said though few genuine ones benefit from such initiatives, most times end up getting into the hands of politicians.
Over the years, the federal government has put in place initiatives to boost agricultural development in the country.
In the Niger Delta, such programmes are River Basin Development Authorities, the one billion Euros Agric Mechanisation Programme, Agric Credit Support Scheme, Commercial Agric credit schemes, Anchor Borrower’s Programmes are some of these initiatives in addition to the 46 point 8 billion Naira Agric Scheme launched in December last year to boost food security in the region.
While few farmers say they have benefitted from these programmes by way of provision of inputs, credit facilities and loans, many say the real farmers who need these things most either do not benefit or get below what they actually need.
The Acting Deputy National President of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria and Chairman of AFAN in Bayelsa, Mr. Confidence Mac-Eteli who commends the Federal Government for its support however stressed the need for a more systematic and realistic approach to getting the real farmers benefit.
An advocate of Value chain addition in Agriculture and Chief Executive of Eddygreen Resource Limited, Mr. Eddy Oyintonye, said tough he benefitted from a loan scheme amounting to nine hundred thousand Naira once, insisted that some of the credit facilities to farmers are inadequate.
Some of the farmers also urged the states and local governments in the Niger Delta to take agricultural development seriously and support local farmers.