Reintroduce Agric Commodity Boards To Boost Revenue, Says University Don
A professor in the Department of Economics, University of Calabar, Prof. Uchechi Ogbuagu has on Monday called for the reintroduction of the Agriculture Commodity Boards, that it was necessary if the nation must increase its revenue from the agricultural sector.
Ogbuagu who made this call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Calabar, said that, having boards for commodities such as oil palm, cotton, cocoa, groundnut and some other produces where Nigeria has comparative advantage will help to develop the value chains of these commodities and increase the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He expressed sadness over the fact that the country was still importing tomato paste and orange juice, which it can produce in abundance, noting that the country lacked storage and processing abilities which result into post-harvest losses of such farm produce.
“Today, tomato pastes are very expensive in the markets, but think of how tomatoes are being wasted in the country, yet, we cannot produce pastes. The same is happening with oranges in Benue; so much wastages. We brought ourselves to the present situation we are in now by killing our commodity boards that would have enhanced the processing and marketing of these products”.
Ogbuagu said the country must return to its foundries in its academic institutions for the production of improved farm tools which would make cultivation easier, that there are engineers in the country that could produce the needed tools.
He noted that Nigeria must stop relying on other countries as they are competitors and not friends that we see them as.
Ogbuagu, however, appealed to the Federal Government to ensure food sufficiency in the country through mechanization and encouraging medium-scale farmers to produce for both export and the local market.
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