Thursday, July 18, 2024

South-West stakeholders offer solutions to Nigeria’s worsening food scarcity

They aired their views on improving the agricultural sector and boosting food production in separate interviews in Ibadan on Tuesday.

• July 9, 2024
A Farmland used to illustrate the story

Nigerians in the South-West region have emphasised the need for increased agricultural funding and farmers’ security to boost farm produce cultivation and reduce food prices.

They aired their views on improving the agricultural sector and boosting food production in separate interviews in Ibadan on Tuesday.

They advised state governments to reduce the high cost of food items by sponsoring farmers in their various states to explore the opportunities of acquired lands and sustained farm settlements.

According to them, governors in the South-West have much to do in their various states to boost national agricultural development.

Mustapha Badmus advised state governments to invest in large-scale farming on acquired lands, farm settlements and virgin lands, especially along the Ibadan-Lagos expressway.

Mr Badmus said if South-West governors would follow the late Obafemi Awolowo’s footprints on agriculture, there would be no need to rely on northern farmers to bring agriculture and foodstuff down south.

He said if the state government invested in agricultural production, subsistence farming, as practised by the village elderly, would be abolished.

A farmer, Sylvester Ramon, said the prices of seeds, chemicals and items used in weeding are now on the high side, thus contributing to the high cost of food.

Another farmer, Sunday Ogunjobi, says security matters account for about 80 per cent of the causes of food prices skyrocketing.

Another resident of Ibadan, Modina Adekunle, says the hike in food prices is unbearable to many Nigerians.

Ms Adekunle implored state governors to involve local government chairpersons in grading rural roads to facilitate easy access to farm produce and the markets.

Meanwhile, a director in the Oyo agric ministry, Emmanuel Adekunle, said Governor Seyi Makinde’s administration was committed to agricultural development and making food production sufficient across the state.

He said the government has invested much in the sector in the past five years through viable and sustainable intervention programmes.

Meanwhile, a financial expert, Samson Olalere, queried the Nigerian leadership for neglecting actions that should have been undertaken in the agricultural sector before now.

According to him, security neglect, leading to the festering of the activities of Boko Haram and banditry, drove many farmers away from their farms.

Mr Olalere proposed the way out by urging the government to pay more attention to security and the fight against banditry, kidnapping, and other social menaces bedevilling the nation.

He said the solution was not in advocating border opening for the importation of items but in encouraging local production.


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