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Farmers protest exclusion from Nigeria’s five-year plan on Irish potatoes

September 13, 2023

The Potato Farmers Association of Nigeria has faulted the federal ministry of agriculture and rural development for its exclusion in launching a five-year rolling plan on Irish potatoes.

POFAN national president Daniel Okafor expressed displeasure on Wednesday in Abuja.

Mr Okafor said despite the effort by POFAN to reposition potato status in the country, the ministry was yet to recognise its effort, adding that such an attitude was discouraging and unpleasant to members.

“It beats my imagination that all the efforts we made to reposition potato status, including running a training programme free in Plateau and other states, is not recognised. Not even POFAN chairman in Plateau was invited to the launch of the programme. POFAN is not contacted in any of the programmes across the states,” stated Mr Okafor.

He added, “Recall that it was our organisation that brought the issue of Irish potato in Plateau to the federal ministry of agriculture. We collaborated with the Netherlands and pursued it until they expressed interest. Who then are the farmers they discovered to work with.”

However, Mr Okafor said there seemed to be some undertones by excluding the association, adding that POFAN had played a pivotal role in ensuring the sustainability of Irish potatoes in the country.

“I am complaining because you know the role my organisation played. That’s what we get from these people after suffering for them with an open mind. It’s a disaster and a pity that POFAN was not carried along,” explained Mr Okafor. “This is the same ministry we presented a proposal penultimate week in a meeting we had with them just before the launch.”

He accused the ministry of sidelining POFAN in its programme.

“We shall soon come out in a different way to protest it. It’s becoming unbecoming,” Mr Okafor stated.

 

PPeoples azette

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