Farmer In Open Letter To Tinubu Seeks Inclusion Of Deaf Farmers In Agric Initiatives

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In a compelling call for action, Chief (Dr) William Olubodun, a deaf farmer and Patron of the Ogun State Association for the Deaf, has penned an open letter to Nigerian authorities, including President Bola Tinubu, advocating for greater support and inclusion of deaf farmers in agricultural development initiatives.

Olubodun commended the President’s efforts aimed at revitalising the Nigerian economy, particularly in agricultural development and infrastructure. He highlighted recent increases in funding for agriculture and agricultural loans and grants as evidence of the government’s dedication to empowering Nigerian farmers and driving economic growth.

However, Olubodun emphasised the significant barriers faced by deaf farmers in accessing these resources, citing the lack of inclusion in federal programmes.

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He urged the government to allocate a minimum of 5% of agricultural grants and loans specifically for deaf farmers, without age restrictions, to ensure their full participation in the sector.

One of the major hurdles identified by Olubodun is the high cost of land acquisition, which poses a significant barrier for deaf farmers.

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He proposed the establishment of a land grants scheme by the Federal, State, and Local governments, offering affordable land through grants or long-term loans with flexible repayment plans.

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Highlighting the potential for growth and employment within the deaf community, Olubodun shared his own experience of employing deaf individuals on his farm and expressed the desire to expand his workforce with sufficient funding.

To address these challenges, Olubodun stressed the importance of establishing accessible loan and grant programmes, providing training on deaf culture and accessibility for agricultural officials, and offering free training for deaf individuals in farming practices.

Olubodun called on the Federal, State Governments, and the Central Bank of Nigeria to take decisive action in supporting deaf farmers, promoting food security, economic growth, and social inclusion.

 

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