Stop paying lip service to development of agriculture, experts charge Southwest governors

An agricultural business development expert, Mrs Ife Adeniyi on Tuesday called on Southwest governors to pay more attention to food production to avert looming famine in the region.

Adeniyi who made the call on the maiden Osun Food and Drink Festival, a seven-day programme organised by Agritourism Empowerment Foundation, remarked that if this is done, it would end the overdependence on food items coming from the Northern part of the country.

“It is now necessary for the Southwest governors to rally round farmers in the region by providing for the basic needs and adequate security to enhance massive food production for the populace.

“We have observed that government across six South-West states are only paying lip service to development of agriculture.

“Specifically, there has been no coordinated plan to increase production of food. Insecurity is making the few farmers we have abandon farms.

“Activities of herders that are grazing on farmlands, destroying produce are still largely unchecked, even with the passage of anti-open grazing law in these states.

“Combination of all these and other factors has led to the astronomical rise in the prices of food items in especially Southwest region.

“If not checked through a well-planned and coordinated government interventions, it may lead to famine and that will resort in anarchy. That is why we are calling on governors in the region to pay more attention to the production of food and end overdependence on food items coming from the Northern part of the country,” she said.

Adeniyi, who is the coordinator for the Osun Food and Drink Festival stated that the seven-day event will pull in over 100,000 people across all demographics and outside Nigeria into Osun adding that over 150 exhibition stands will enjoy the rich ambience of indigenous heritage and different types of local dishes and drinks.

Highlighting the importance of the event, she said the seven-day Osun Food and Drink Festival will serve as a platform to connect local farmers with off-takers both locally and internationally.

In a related development, Osun State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry, Cooperative and Empowerment, Dr Olanipekun Olabode said that many mineral resources were discovered in the state which the local miners are handling. 

“We saw all manner of new things that we list expected that we are handling in Osun and many of our food production are being handled by agricultural experts in the state.

Dr Olabode who appreciated the efforts of the governor in opening up and showcasing what the state has to the outside world while speaking at the closure of the Southwest trade fair programme in Osogbo, hinted also that, the state had been able to register a huge success in the last 13 days that the programme commenced in the state.

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