The Ondo state government has been asked to domesticate the Agriculture Promotion Policy (APP) of the federal government in order to alleviate poverty.
The Justice Development and Peace Centre Catholic Diocese (JDPC) of Ondo state, in conjunction with ActionAid Nigeria, made the request on Monday in Akure.
The chairman of the Public Finance for Agriculture, Budget Committee, established by JDPC, Mr. Pius Akomolafe, said the trend of agric budget from year 2014 to 2017 shows the decrement in agriculture budgetary allocation from the year 2014-2016.
Mr. Akomolafe added that although there was increase in the 2017 budget, analysis of the state’s budget has showed that little effort was being made to promote agriculture.
According to him, this little effort of the government has further caused negative impact on small scale farmers in the state who are mostly women.
Mr. Akomolafe said that the priority of the state government in its yearly budget from 2014 till 2017 has been on education and health while rating agriculture as the third among the three sectors.
He explained that agriculture must be given a priority in order to fill the widely gap between the rich and the poor which would also help in overcoming hunger.
“The budget allocated to the three sectors stated as follows: Agriculture in 2014, 2.57 percent, Health 10.1percent, Education 20.65 percent.
“In the year 2015, Agriculture was 1.66%, Health 9.8%, Education 22.16 percent. In year 2016, Agriculture 1.10 percent, Health 11.62 percent, Education 24.98 percent.
“And now the current allocation, 2017 is, Agriculture 5.12percent, Health 10.53percent and Education is 21.78percent,” he noted.
He suggested that a separate budget should be put in place for agriculture in the state in order to meet up with farming season.
Daily Times gathered that the Budget Committee was set up to harness the state government’s 2017 agriculture budget allocation.
The committee after its finding advised that a law should be put in place to enforce release of agricultural budget at an appropriate time, irrespective of change in government or political instability in the state.