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Food security: Group urges increased agricultural investment

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A collective of civil society organizations, Transparency, Advocacy for Development Initiative, has urged government bodies at all levels to enhance their investment in agriculture.
This move aims to increase production within the sector and ensure the availability of food at reasonable prices.

Mr. Yomi David, the Executive Director of TADI, voiced this appeal during a press conference held in Abuja to mark World Farmers Day.

Mr. David expressed concern that although the agricultural sector provides over 70 percent of the nation’s employment opportunities, Nigeria still falls short in terms of farm produce. 

He noted the troubling fact that a significant portion of the food consumed in Nigeria is imported, which hampers the country’s economic growth and calls for prompt action from various stakeholders.

He lamented the historical neglect of farming and the agricultural sector by previous governments, which has resulted in minimal attention to this crucial area.

This neglect has had adverse effects on households, jeopardizing food security and the national Gross Domestic Product.

“It is also very sad to observe that farming in Nigeria vis-a-vis the agricultural sector had been largely neglected by past administrations as little and unattended attention had been given to the sector.

“This had largely affected households, endangering food security and the national Gross Domestic Product.

“Nigeria is now at the mercy of other nations for food and raw materials needed to fuel critical industrial needs for local production of agro-based products, such as lifesaving drugs, animal feeds and finished goods.

“As a nation, we can not continue to dwell on food importation if we must secure the future of Nigeria.

TIDA also calls for increased government investment in Nigerian farmers to ensure the agricultural sector receives the attention it deserves for optimal production and contribution to Nigeria’s overall development.

The government must also address security concerns on farmlands by combating terrorist activities and similar threats, creating a safer environment for farmers to work without fear or intimidation.

Furthermore, Mr. David highlighted the need for immediate resolution of the conflicts between farmers and herders to foster a peaceful coexistence and put an end to the recurring clashes arising from their differences.

He proposed the establishment of special funding to revitalize the agricultural sector, including higher budget allocations from the National Assembly and sufficient funding for all critical agencies, parastatals, and institutions under the Federal and State Ministry of Agriculture.

A special intervention fund for the National Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation was also suggested, enabling it to fulfill its mandate of providing affordable basic farm tools to farmers nationwide.

TIDA extended congratulations to President Bola Tinubu and the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, as well as to the farmers who persist in their efforts to feed the nation, on the occasion of Nigeria Farmers Day.

 

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