The chairman of the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), Zaria branch, has identified the activities of middlemen as the major obstacle that the Buhari- administration needs to address to achieve the rice sufficiency drive.
Speaking in an interview with Daily Trust, Muhammad Lawal Jibril said farmers appreciate the efforts of the administration to uplift the capacity of farmers, but it needs to check exploitation of farmers by some leaders of RIFAN.
He added; “we sensitised our members based on what the government promised. However, some middlemen are now exploiting farmers. The initial arrangement was that farmers would be given money based on their capacity. They now changed the money to supply of farm implements. We don’t have problem with that, but with the prices of what they are giving.
“For example, the pumping machine they are giving at N43,000 is sold at the market at the rate of N27,000. Same thing goes for fertilizer.
The market price of NPK 15:15:15 is N5,500, but the price they are giving at association level is N7,500.”
Jibril said most farmers are collecting the inputs blindly without the association disclosing the actual price to them. This, according to him, forces them to draw the attention of government.