A member of the House of Representatives representing Irepo/Olorunsogo/Orelope federal constituency of Oyo State, Olumide Ojerinde, has canvassed a more aggressive investment in the nation’s agricultural sector to attain food security.
Speaking at an interactive forum with local farmers in Igbeti community at the weekend, the lawmaker lamented that Nigeria’s major economic activities which he said revolved around agriculture, is still at subsistence level.
Ojerinde, who planned to collaborate with farmers in the area on investment in the agricultural sector with banks and agro-allied organisations, hoped that the efforts would ensure attainment of food security.
“I am struck by how far we have come, and also by how far we need to go. For example, nearly few people have escaped extreme poverty among us. Today, our major economic activity across our villages, towns and cities is agriculture which is still at the subsistence level.
“Even with this, our people still lived on less than N500 a day. Many of the extreme poor are now concentrated across our wards which were evident during my campaigns. Since we came into office four months ago, my team have been holding technical sessions, consulting with many organisations on the need to come and invest in our federal constituency. We have contacted Bank of Industry and intensive lobbying is ongoing at the National Assembly and Presidency to ensure this constituency is considered for major federal presence.
“We shall invest the majority in the agricultural sector for us to attain food security.
“We shall accelerate commerce and invest more on what actual products we plant and harvest. We shall through collaboration with Bank of Industry give farmers loan to boost capacities for mechanised farming.
It shows us the direction we need to take. At every level, we need to start working across short and long term perspectives. We need institutions that are responsive and flexible. We need the engagement of all stakeholders.
“We need a clear and honest discussion of synergies and potential agricultural products we can trade-offs. Over the coming days, we shall embark on massive community-based poverty eradication programmes in this federal constituency. We will share experiences, learn from each other, pool our efforts, build partnerships and initiate a bill that will move us forward as good people of this constituency,” he said.