On looming food insecurity

What is happening to Nigeria today is akin to a scorched earth assault on our farmers. Hitherto, the Agriculture value chain had been hampered by lack of technology, inadequate yield per hectare, climate change, pest and disease control, availability of agricultural land, cultural practices and so many other factors.

We have never had a national thinking scheme to disrupt agriculture and ensure food sufficiency. The Anchor Borrowers’ Scheme by the Central Bank of Nigeria  (CBN) only moved the needle a bit.

The massive recurring incidents of insecurity and assault on the farms of subsistence farmers would automatically result in an assault on food production. It has to be stated the Nigerians are mostly small holder farmers and most of the edible crops are planted in areas taken over by criminals.

There has never been a more terrible time for small holder Nigerian farmers than this period. The continued assault on their crops will leave Nigeria in a precarious situation as we already have challenges with post harvest losses. Over 30 per cent of our produce suffers the fate of post harvest losses coupled with many farmers abandoning their farms.

It has been predicted that the impact of this will be felt in two planting cycles from now if nothing is done about insecurity and we might have to declare a state of emergency on food.

The government must step in and end all these crises and attacks on farmers. The already fragile agricultural value chain will suffer more hits if nothing is done quickly. We need to collectively agree that food security is the greatest form of security and the earlier we all see this as a problem, the better for us all as a nation.

Barnabas Bashir,

Nasarawa.

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