Moringa farmers in Nigeria have called on the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment to elect committee that will defend the interest of its members.
Speaking with journalists after the meeting the Second Stakeholders Meeting of the Proposed National Moringa Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria was cancelled, the President of Eden Moringa Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society, Mr Michael Ashimashigha said he was in support of the meeting cancellation because of overcrowding and lack of coordination.
He said the Moringa sub-sector needs an association that will look at what the farmers are producing and ensure they (farmers) were carried along.
“Nigeria’s prayer every day is to have a better and successful leadership. So, when you want to select a leader that has no focus, you must have rancour.
“Our plan is to make sure we have an association, we have a standing committee that will really look at what we are producing, that will look into what farmers are cultivating, then to make sure that these farmers are captured.
“But if you see what happened here, where it gets to a point that the meeting had to be postponed due to lack of coordination. We have people that have been invited from all over the country, which today is not even an election day, today is a day to set up a committee that will draft a constitution of the association.
“When you are drafting a constitution of every association, you must have the stakeholders, those who have registered companies, registered association, and have the product, not just middlemen or any kind of people that we pick on the street”, he noted
He said the Ministry was right to cancel the meeting because the hall was too small to host the number of persons that came for the meeting.
“Like a government Ministry, they have to first observe that restriction. Where we have been called to have this meeting is too small for hosting even state coordinators of moringa associations.
“I have 36 state coordinators, I have six zonal coordinators under the Eden Group Farmers and Eden Moringa, and the other groups have their coordinators, so you look at the number of people that you are inviting to this meeting first.
“So, with the number of people in the hall and regarding the Covid-19 protocol, this meeting cannot be held, it is good that the government cancelled the meeting, we are happy with that”, he added.
The meeting which was aimed at setting up a Constitution Drafting Committee for a proposed association which will bring together all Moringa related associations in the country, witnessed an overwhelming crowd which forced the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment to cancel it.
The Minister, Adeniyi Adebayo, who was represented by the Director, Commodities at the Ministry, delegated, the deputy director, Mr Kaura Irimiya, to inform the farmers of the cancelation, citing the rowdiness of the members, and said the ministry didn’t envisage the kind of turn up which it witnessed, else they would have arranged a bigger hall.
He said the minister sent in an observer to the meeting and asked that the meeting be cancelled due to non-compliance with Covid-19 protocol.
“When we did invitation, we didn’t
know we will have this number, we would have arranged a place like Nicon Luxury which is a big hall, unfortunately we were not looking at this at this kind of number and you know we have a Covid-19 restriction which very few persons are observing here and it is not conducive for any of us, in fact none of us is safe here.
“The Minister has sent some people to come and observe the meeting and they asked me to tell you that this meeting cannot continue, we are going to invite you later but we are going to do it on zonal representation”, he stated.