Cocoa farmers have accused the Federal Government of damaging their crops by procuring substandard agricultural inputs for farmers.
The farmers, under the aegis of Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria on Monday fingered the Federal ministry of Agriculture for sharp practices by procuring such substandard inputs.
This was contained in a statement jointly signed by the National President, National Secretary, National Vice President (South-West) and Public Relations Officer of the association, Chief Raimi Adeniji, Adeola Adegoke, Ayodele Joseph and Yerima Mustapha respectively.
According to the association, some of the inputs allegedly procured by the ministry include fungicide, insecticides, and cutlases.
The statement reads in part, ” The procured inputs particularly fungicide had destroyed our cocoa trees and farms.
The association also noted that it had earlier appealed to the ministry of agriculture to always consult farmers whenever critical issues relating to “the procurement of inputs in order to know our demand for the year.”
The statement said the association had written series of letters to the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, on the matter but there was no response from him.
The group threatened to stage protests across the country if nothing is done on the matter.
“We strongly appealed to Mr. President to move into the matter urgently to save cocoa farmers from an untimely death due to the havoc caused by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, ” the statement added.
The officials of the ministry in Ondo State contacted on the matter declined to comment, referring DAILYPOST to the headquarters of the ministry in Abuja.
One of them, who did not want his name in print said, ” We can’t say anything on the matter here, you can contact the Abuja office.”