Afan

Plantain & Banana Stakeholders Plan Inaugural Meeting for August 13

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Over the years, Nigeria has been one of the highest producers of plantain and banana yet this noble produce has never been exported, production remained irrational as its either too much in the market at some times causing glut and wastage or very scarce at other times becoming expensive.

There is no clear policy from the government on the industry though individuals have embarked on massive campaign for increase in production and the potentials in the industry, government has played negligible role in the production, processing and marketing of the crop that has been tagged has the third staple food in the country. Cooperatives and associations on these crops are hardly heard or known.

It is out of passion for these crops and the huge potential the industry can impact on the economy of the country especially now that its struggling that this association is founded to create a new course and way forward.

The aims and objectives of this association are:

1. To organise all existing and intending plantain and banana farmers, processors and marketers.
2. To provide a forum or avenue where members can speak with one voice.
3. To set and improve the standard of production, processing and marketing of plantain and banana which are given to the public, ensure even distribution of produce and maintain fair price profitable to stakeholders and convenient for buyers.
4. To improve plantain and banana industry education at all levels throughout the federation.
5. To participate in planning, policy making and administration of plantain and banana industry at all levels of government.
6. To provide a forum whereby understanding, fellowship and unity can be achieved and maintained at all times amongst all members of plantain and banana industry stakeholders.
7. To raise the status of plantain and banana industry, seek loans, grants and incentives from government, non governmental organisations, financial institutions and international donors.
8. To extend protection:- legal or otherwise.
9. To uphold the international standard of cultivation, harvesting, processing and marketing of plantain and banana to facilitate exportation and balance of trade.
10. To affiliate with All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) and or fraternize with any other association relevant to plantain and banana industry in Nigeria and international bodies with similar aims and objectives.
11. To establish and maintain good relationship with members of the public, other commodity associations and all levels of government.
12. To establish and maintain good relationship with plantain and banana industry stakeholders in Africa, Commonwealth and other parts of the world.
13. To operate benefit schemes for the members as may be decided by the National Executive council from time to time.
So, if you are an existing or intending plantain and or banana farmer, processor or marketer, make it a date with us for the inuagural meeting of the association on August 13th, 2016.

For more inquiry call 08167434244, you can also drop your number and first name to join the whatsapp forum.

BY- Adeniyi Bunmi

My Experience at the All Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (AFAN) Ondo State Chapter Meeting.

n the 15th of May 2012, I and a friend decided to see and observe the activities of the All Farmers’ Association of Nigeria (AFAN) Ondo State Chapter. We went out of keen interest to associate with other farmers and see how the association can come up to sensitize the youth more about agriculture.

            Maybe before I share what I experienced, I tell you a brief about AFAN. AFAN is an association for farmers in Nigeria. It is made-up of   what is referred to as commodity associations. The commodity associations are formed based on the commodity a farmer produces. The commodity could be maize, cassava poultry, oil palm, snails etc. Thus under the AFAN you have members of commodity associations such as Snail Farmers’ Association, Poultry Farmers’ Association to mention a few. These commodity associations meet in groups at agreed dates. However, once a month they all come together under the AFAN umbrella to discuss matters related to the progress of the farmers.

            With this background in mind, the meeting had a total of 30 farmers in attendance with 8 been women. One interesting fact I observed was that the meeting was conducted in the local dialect (Yoruba) and this was because of the presence of mostly rural farmers. It is sad though to note that only five out of all of us in attendance were youths. Others were old farmers who were well along in age.

I noted the following during their deliberations:

1.      There was low turn up of the farmers to the meeting

2.      The farmers only show-up when matters related to fund allocation from the government are discussed.

3.      The Bank of Agriculture was slow in processing of loans for the farmers and even when the loans were given they got them at very high interest rate.

4.      Civil servants who are not farmers have hijacked loan schemes by the state government in the name of having the requirement for the loans.

5.      The poultry farmers were presently facing the problem of ‘egg gloat’ which has brought business to a halt for them.

Despite all these, the farmers I noticed are not losing hope, but are persistent. The President of the association encouraged networking and partnership with one another and try their hands on loans as a group rather than as individuals. Those present were given information that would prove helpful for them such as

1.      The Agric Credit Scheme by the Apex Bank, Central Bank of Nigeria that had just kicked off

2.      The list of crops and livestock that would have focus as announced by the Federal Government. They included maize, cotton, cattle, wheat, cassava, poultry etc

3.      The guaranteed price list released by the government was also read out to the farmers.

I had the privilege of speaking and I expressed my desire to gain experience from the older farmers but that there was need for them to also work to sensitize young people on the need to actively engage in agriculture despite the challenges that come with it.

It was agreed there and then that this would be incorporated in their radio program in the weeks to come and that a capacity building program would be planned for young people in the state. This gladdened my heart and I cannot wait to be part of the hands that would bring change to agriculture by bringing on board other young people in the near future