Dec 14, 2011, 2:37 PM
We seize this opportunity to welcome the new Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Khalfi Kambi, and to congratulate him on his recent appointment.
It's worth mentioning that the agricultural sector is one of the crucial sectors of our economy, which makes it very important.
As a trained agriculturist, just like your predecessor, a lot is expected from you to help move the sector to the higher heights.
The new structural adjustments being undertaken and the ongoing transformation process at the Ministry should be further strengthened and expedited.
There are a lot of challenges that impede agricultural development in the country. These challenges make the new Deputy Agriculture Minister's work even much more challenging.
As a country that aims to attain food security in the medium-term and food self-sufficiency in the long-term, one must ask if the Deputy Minister is ready to take the lead. We hope he would!
In any case, promoting the country's agricultural development should never be compromised at all. Our farmers need farming implements, soft loans, new farming techniques and, above all, good prices for their produce.
Perhaps the new Minister could even initiate an agricultural bank, meant purposely to address the needs of our farmers, just like what exists in some other African countries.
We need to give subsidies to our farmers otherwise the issue of realising food self-sufficiency would remain a dream.
The availability, affordability and early delivery of fertilizers and other farm inputs, for instance, would go a long way in helping our farmers to achieve their goals.
Accessibility and affordability are very relevant, thus the need to provide the inputs on time and, if possible at village levels to reduce transportation costs.
The new Deputy Minister is coming at a very critical time, a period when farmers are busy clearing their fields for the next cropping season.
Agriculture, we insist must be given topmost priority. While our small farmers need to diversify their production, commercial agriculture should be encouraged.In conclusion, while we have no doubt in the new Deputy Minister's ability to deliver, we thought it would be in order to give this piece of advice.