Farmers of the Internally Displaced Persons have been assured of Federal government intervention to create enabling environment for input in generating production.
This assurance was given by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh when he recently inspected the IDPs Beans Market in Auta Ballefi, Nasarawa State, owned by the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Borno State.
Describing the market as “one of the biggest ihave seen in this country’. Also said: “Determination and hard work of the people who fled their homeland as a result of insurgency, the Ministry is proud of the IDP farmers who formed farm clusters in order to be self- employed, generate employment for the teeming youths and feed Nigerians rather than waiting for government to feed them as internally displaced persons.
“This is to show that Nigerians have resilience in spite of their challenges; see what they are doing for themselves. I am surprised and elated, instead of IDPs waiting for somebody else to bring them food, here is a group of people from essentially, Borno State who found refuge here and have created an industry of their own”, he said.
Chief Ogbeh assured the farmers of necessary government’s interventions with the provisions of market access, security, water and other amenities in the market as well as creating linkage roads to their farm but cautioned them against the use of toxic pesticide for the preservation of the beans and other grains but should rather adopt the usage of pepper instead of chemicals that are dangerous to human health.
“I am very excited to be here, it’s quite surprising but also indicative of what Nigerians can do even in adversity. We are very proud of them. The first thing we are going to say to them is that nobody should put sniper in the bag of beans. They should never put sniper, it is poison. They should rather put pepper”.
The Minister urged other IDPs to emulate what their peers had accomplished promising to supply the beans farmers with harvesters, threshers and a specific number of tractors for the next planting season for easy harvesting and processing of their beans.
He said he would engage the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and Coordinator of the School Feeding Program to patronize the beans produced by the IDPs in order to boost their market.
Ogbeh commended the efforts of the Archbishop of Abuja Catholic Diocese, Cardinal John Onaiyekan and other dignitaries who saw it as a responsibility in facilitating the process of acquiring land for both farming and market.
In his remarks, the Archbishop, Cardinal John Onaiyekan said the Internally Displaced Persons at Auta ba’ Balefi are very resourceful and talented in the production of beans in spite of their challenges urging the Minister to build on the achievements recorded by ensuring that government provides them with necessary supports.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Beans Market, Mr. Philemon Yakubu in his welcome address thanked the Minister for honoring their invitation to inspect the market and their products.