Editorial Opinion: Give Agriculture Priority Now! - PR Primus Asks South Western States - EDU-BIZNEWS


Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Editorial Opinion: Give Agriculture Priority Now! - PR Primus Asks South Western States


The Editorial Board of PR Primus has condemned the neglect of Agriculture by Governments and Citizens in the South Western part of Nigeria resulting in the prohibitive costs of food and prevalence of hunger in a region once renowned for its manifest wealth and life abundance.
Iconic relics like Cocoa House and enduring legacies of the past built with wealth procured from agriculture are vivid reminders of the humongous potentials of agriculture.

Time it was that the Farm Settlements Farmington in 1950s by the late sage, the avatar, Chief Obafemi Awolowo proviewvided food and cash crops for the region.

Timber and Rubber plantations were rife with the attendant establishment of agro allied industries like the Iwopin Paper Mill, Cocoa Research Institute, Forestry Research Institute as well as NIHORT.
Needless to say, these Institutes created employment for citizens of the region.
The recent scarcity and prohibitive cost of tomatoes is a clarion tacit call for declaration of emergency in the agriculture sector. We are shocked to learn that tomatoes and pepper were imported from neighbouring countries like Ghana and Republic of Benin.
It is disheartening that governments' resolve to cash distribution through schemes like SureP, TraderMoni, School Feeding Programme and all other Social Investments have failed to assuage the problem.
In view of the foregoing, we call for a change of tactics from cash distribution to comprehensive investment in agriculture chock full with values.
Monies being shared or distributed to faceless citizens should be invested in the cultivation of food and cash crops, livestock, fisheries, piggery, snailery, timber and horticulture.
Citizens should take advantage of the arable land and clement weather that abound to engage in massive subsistence farming and livestock production to shore up their incomes and reduce demands for food crops.
We, hereby, call on all State Governments to partner institutions like Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), CRIN, NIHORT and FRIN, to aggressively cultivate and invest in sundry agricultural ventures to reflate the economy.

Governments can assist these institutions to clear land for cultivation whilst some citizens can be employed to plant, weed and harvest the produce.
The benefits of massive investments in agriculture are numerous and the South West Governments should accord it tip top priority to stave off imminent hunger!
It is imperative to call governments attention of the enormous arable land available for cultivation in the 10 hectares land space occupied by the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. 
FUNAAB, in her agricultural revitalisation programmes is currently embarking on creative solutions towards food security issues by cultivating:
☆22 hectares of Cassava farmland 
☆Tomato farmland 
☆9 hectares of maize farmland amongst others. 
If governments contiquous to the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta come to her aid, masses will heave a sign of relief economically and socially.

The time to ACT is now!

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