How to end attack, killing of Nigerian farmers by criminal herdsmen
The Director, Federal Department of Agriculture at Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Abuja, Hajia Karim Babangida, has disclosed the best way to end the attack and killing of innocent Nigerian farmers by criminal herdsmen.
He noted that rather than for the hardworking farmers to be gruesomely murdered in their farms by the marauding criminal herdsmen, they should consider planting most of their crops, especially yam, in sack bags at home, thereby remaining alive to still farm during the next season.
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Babangida, who was represented by the Director, Federal Department of Agriculture in Edo State, Mr. Wellington Omoregbon, stated these yesterday at the closing of a two-day workshop for Edo farmers on the management of beetle infestation in yam production, with the theme: ‘Managing Beetle Infestation for High Productivity and Wealth Creation,’ at the headquarters of Edo State Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) on Airport Road, Benin.
She said: “Now is the time to change our paradigm and refocus on our way of farming. One of the innovations in the midst of the security crisis and COVID-19 pandemic is the use of sack bags in the production of yam. This will also ensure the production of yam all year round.
”In Nigeria, food crisis is looming, occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic and flood, while the situation is worsened by natural and human-induced disasters, including ethnic and regional conflicts. Sustained agricultural growth is critical to reduce hunger and alleviate poverty, because about 70 per cent of the poor in developing countries live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods, either directly or indirectly.
”Yam is a major staple food for an estimated 60 million Nigerians. There has been a steady growth in yam production since 1997, with an average annual growth rate of 4.6 per cent per year. This accounts for the position of Nigeria as the highest producer globally.”
The director, federal department of agriculture, Abuja, also stated that eradicating hunger and reducing poverty were major development policy objectives of many developing countries, in line with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 2, targeted at reducing to half, the proportion of undernourished people in the world by the year 2030.
Babangida noted that in spite of Nigeria being the highest producer of yam worldwide and the growth in its production, infestation by yam tuber beetles had been posing a major constraint to increased yam output, which she said must be tackled head on.
FMARD’s Desk Officer, Yam Value Chain, Mrs. Perpetua Iyere-Usiahon, while speaking at the workshop, declared that death of farmers in the hands of criminal herdsmen could be prevented through the use of sack bags for the production of crops, especially yam.
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