Cocoa farmers petition Buhari over fake pesticides

Cocoa farmers in Nigerian have petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari over the alleged distribution of fake farm inputs by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.
The farmers alleged that the products that were distributed to cocoa farmers in the cocoa growing parts of the country adversely affected the growth and development of the crop when it was applied.
In a letter dated November 27 and addressed to the president, signed by members of the executive of the Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN), including the National President, Raimi Adeniji; Secretary, Adeola Adegoke; National Vice President, South West, Ayodele Joseph; Financial Secretary, Ufono Sunday; and Public Relations Officer, Yerima Mustapha.
The letter noted that the farmers were not consulted on the and necessary inputs required to meet their needs before the chemicals were procured.
“We want to draw the attention of Mr. President, Muhammad Buhari to the ugly economic sabotage perpetuated within the Ministry of Agriculture whereby fake and unwanted inputs were procured for cocoa farmers,” the letter read.
“In fact, the procured inputs, particularly fungicides, had destroyed our cocoa trees and farms.
“Sir, we have appealed to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture that farmers should be consulted whenever critical issues relating to the procurement of inputs in order to know our demands for the year.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, in a reaction, regretted the development, saying the ministry would immediately do a review of the situation and discuss with the stakeholders.
Mr. Ogbeh, who responded via a text message, stated that the ministry could not have deliberately supplied fake inputs to farmers.
”I am shocked to learn of this unfortunate development,” he said.

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