FG hinge economic recovery on agriculture
The Federal Government yesterday said that agriculture has the potential of accelerating economic recovery and food security in the country and beyond.
The Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development Chief Audu Ogbeh while speaking during the May Edition of Nigerian Association of Agriculture Journalists (NAAJ) Forum in Lagos regretted that agriculture failed in the Nigeria in the instance because it was neglected at the advent of oil.
Represented by the Senior Special Adviser to the Minister, Dr Kayode Oyeleye said the Federal Government was working to revive agriculture production in the country.
He noted that giving the priority attached to revamping the sector, the present administration did not discard initiatives of the former administration rather implementing them together with that of the present for effective result.
Oyeleye assured that picture the FG has for agriculture production in Nigeria was a shift from hoe and cutlass farming to a more mechanized system capable of not only providing food and job opportunities for the teeming population but raw material for industries and export.
According to him, export which is a major driver of agriculture production has been hampered in the country in the past.
He highlighted non compliance to the standard as bane to exportation of the nation’s domestic products adding it resulted in groundnut pyramid that characterized agriculture production in the northern part of the country.
Urging state government key into FG initiatives on agriculture, Oyeleye pointed out the whole effort would be a mirage if states and private sectors were not actively involved.
He said role of government was to create an enabling environment for business to thrive, design, implement and supervise initiatives.
He noted that apart from Lagos and Rivers State, all other states in the country have arable lands.
Against the background of incessant attacks of farmers by herdsmen, Kayode said that an agency, called Agro Rangers, has been put in place to check their excesses.
He said this agency was tasked with the responsibility of going into communities to fend off any form of hostility from the herdsmen and report it to appropriate authority for quick action.
“An agency called ‘Agro Rangers’ has been put in place to go into communities to fend off any form of aggression by herdsmen against farmers of any village. Their job is to neutralize any form of hostility by herdsmen against farmers. Furthermore, most states have given lands for ranches, which will result no more roaming of animals”, he said