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Agriculture: Farmers input important for positive results – OXFAM

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By Chidinma Chukwu, Abuja.

Stakeholders have advocated for active engagement with farmers during Interventions by government, donors and investors for effective service delivery.

They made the call in Abuja at a two day Open Government Partnership sensitization organised by Oxfam with state and non state actors in the agricultural sector in Nasarawa State.

Speaking at the meeting, Oxfam in Nigeria Advocacy Project Cordinator, Saratu Abiola explained that agriculture requires public investment and for state to achieve the desired results for intervention programmes, it is important to inquire from the farmers what they really want.

She said with the right investments in Agriculture through empowered funds and technology, the economy of the state will improve.

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Commissioner for Finance, Budget and Planning in Nassarawa state, Haruna Adamu Ogbole said the state is set embrace the Open Government Partnership OGP programme.

According to him, the OGP will help reduce wastage and misappropriation and will provide opportunity for additional funding to strengthen the services and institutions in the State.

“These are things that we are doing in Nasarawa state but we didn’t know that we suppose to harness those things for the betterment of our state.

“We are going to increase what we are already doing. Government business should not be secret business. OGP will sustain those engagement that we are doing with SFTARS (States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability Programme) that will give leverage for investors to come to the state, it will increase wealth creation and public trust to the people” he added.

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For Agriculture, he said beneficiaries sometimes discourage investors as they sell things given to them instead of use it to grow their products.

He advised that going forward government intervention should be done through private partnership to ensure compliance by beneficiaries.

Special Adviser to the governor of Nasarawa State on NGOs and Development Partners, Mrs Muniro Abdullah said a steering committee composed of both government and non government actors will be formed to ensure better engagement with citizens for transparency and efficiency in governance.

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In her words, “we are hoping that Nassarawa state will queue into OGP very soon because we have met pretty much of the eligibility criteria for being part of the OGP and ensuring that we engage better with our citizens so that we can collectively provide solution to our problems”.

Cordinator of Small Scale Women Farmers Organizations of Nigeria, Susan Godwin, urged that farmers to be carried along when making decisions that concerns them.

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