Francis Sardauna in Katsina
Farmers in Katsina State under the auspices of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) have pledged their support for the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Dikko Umar Radda, in the 2023 general election
The farmers, who made their views known at a townhall meeting with Radda in Katsina, said the APC guber candidate has the needed agricultural pedigree to revolutionise the sector if elected governor in 2023.
Speaking on behalf of the farmers, the state Chairman of AFAN, Alhaji Ya’u Umar Gojo-gojo, said the APC candidate would adequately fund agriculture and provide incentives for both peasant and mechanised farmers across the state.
He explained that the endorsement of Radda became imperative because of his educational qualifications in the agricultural field and expressed optimism that the APC candidate will do everything possible to boost farming activities in the state.
The state AFAN chairman said: “Therefore, we have to give his (Radda) ambition all the necessary support, because he is a farmer, and when the agricultural sector is boosted, it means many people will be engaged in farming.
“If more people are engaged in farming, we are going to have more production of farm goods and it will hence increase food production in the state and boost the revenue and economy of the state.”
Gojo-gojo, who is also the state Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, added that if more people are supported to embark on massive agriculture activities, it will tackle insecurity and enhance food sufficiency.
Radda, while responding, assured the farmers that he would remain committed to protecting and lifting the poor and vulnerable from the poverty cycle through meaningful agricultural programmes and policies if elected as governor in 2023.
He said his decision to prioritise agriculture was geared towards boosting food production in the state and increasing revenue generation through the sector.
He reiterated that his prospective government would train and re-train agricultural extension workers and rural farmers across the state because 85 per cent of the state’s population depends solely on farming.
According to him, “My administration will give top priority to the agricultural sector because it is the mainstay of the people of the state. We will also ensure that fertilizer is distributed to farmers yearly in order to boost food production in our agrarian state.
“We will also stop the distribution of fertilizer to politicians instead of the real farmers. We are not proud of anything better than farming, because over 85 per cent of our people are farmers.”
He noted that available statistics have shown that over 80 per cent of small and medium entrepreneurs in the country are under the agricultural value chain.
Radda, therefore, said the small and medium industries in the country would not survive without farming, adding that 80 per cent of such businesses will collapse if the agricultural sector is not given the desired attention.