By Steve Oni, Ilorin
The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has announced the resolve of the Senate to ensure that saboteurs do not frustrate the progress recorded so far in the agricultural sector in the country.
Saraki spoke with journalists in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, on Friday after an inspection visit to Shonga Farms in Edu local government area of the state. He was accompanied to the farm by the Kwara state governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, and the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele.
The Senate President lamented that Nigeria is losing one million tons of poultry to smugglers every year, just as it is experiencing in the rice sub sector.
Emefiele said the apex bank would support the poultry section of the Shonga farms with N2billion loan to aid its expansion projections, adding that the loan would attract nine percent interest.
Saraki said: “The Chairman, Senate Committee on Agriculture and the Central Bank Governor (CBN) were here to see how the commercial farmers are doing and how much support they are getting in the area of financing both for commercial farmers and Kwara farmers.
“We met with our farmers here to see that adequate funding is made available to the agricultural sector. We were also in Shonga Farms to see what is happening in the poultry session, because we are getting report of increased smuggling of chickens into the country which is affecting the industry.
“This is an area we intend to take up. Over one million tons are being imported into the country. If that continues it will spell doom for the poultry farmers. The same thing we are experiencing in the area of rice too. We must sustain this agricultural progress we are making over the last one year. Farmers have been seeing the benefits. We cannot allow saboteurs to take us back.”