Imminent Food Crisis: North-Central Stakeholders call for Food Import
Stakeholders from the North-Central have urged the Federal Government to start importing food to buffer current scarcity and high prices of foodstuff in the country. They said this move would avert the imminent food crisis that has been predicted by agriculture experts.
As part of their own contribution, the stakeholders are taking measures to forestall the critical situation.
According to a survey conducted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), it was revealed that these measures included provision of farm inputs such as fertilizers and seeds, as well as implements to farmers to enable them grow more food crops.
They said that these steps would go a long way in boosting the supply chain and subsequently beat down prices of foodstuff in the market.
The North Central States , which comprise of Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa,Niger and Plateau , are the agricultural hub in Nigeria but recent insecurity situation and climate issues have caused the region to have a shortfall in produce.
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The Plateau State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr Hosea Finangwai said
part of the state’s effort to see to increased productivity is by providing farmers with farm inputs, subsidized seedlings, agro-chemicals and markets for their produce. He said Government also recruited 400 extension workers and deployed them to the 17 local government areas of the state.
“We produce to meet the demands; the Central Bank is there giving soft loans, while microfinance banks, corporate organisations are all helping, where necessary to enable farmers to produce.
“We have about 450 registered cooperatives aimed at encouraging farmers to come together to learn good agricultural practices. So, many farmers have accessed these loans on various platforms,” Finangwai said.
Mr Rotkang Gukas, Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Plateau chapter, on his part, urged the Federal Government to urgently address the current security challenges in the country to enable farmers to work on their lands without fear of being attacked by criminals.
While Mr Francis Yongo, the Benue state chairman of Confederated Forum of Rice Farmers, says that rice production in Benue is at a all time high this year, his counterpart Mr Emmanuel Ade who is an agriculture expert in the state has advised both government and rich individuals to buy and store foodstuff, now that farmers had started harvesting their crops so as to avoid wastage and future hunger.
The Manager of the Lafia Silos Complex ,Mr David Omadachi , commended the Federal Government for storing thousands of metric tonnes of grains -maize, rice and sobo-all in a bid to avert future food crisis in the country.
In June 2021, during a stakeholders meeting in Maiduguri, Alhaji Mohammed Alkali ,the MD of North East development Commission revealed that the Federal Government is putting together resources to stockpile food items and abort looming famine and malnutrition among people in the region.
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