An Agriculturalist, Prince Wale Oyekoya, has challenged the Minister of Agriculture, Mohammed Nanono, to tell the country how he arrived at the conclusion that the country has enough food to feed the populace.
The former chairman of the Agriculture group, Lagos Chamber of Commerce, said the minister’s statement was political.
“Mohammed Nanono claim is a political statement which does not reflect the reality of our food security in the country. Even a blind man will know that things have fallen apart in our food production as we are not producing enough to feed our citizens.”
Oyekoya added that inability to produce enough led to the importation of over 80% of the country’s food need, “we are a consumable nation with foreign taste thereby wasting our meagre foreign reserves on food importation when we can produce them in our arable land.”
The Bama farm boss said the minister should tell the nation the number of farms he has visited since his appointment to interact with local farmers before making the statement.
“He should have visited farms and see for himself if our local farmers are doing well and would have known there is a problem in the Agric sector.
“The minister should have visited the markets and see how exorbitant our foodstuffs are and out of the reach of common man. We don’t have to import foods if we are producing enough and prices of these commodities will not be this high.
“How many agriculture stakeholders has the minister met with to assess the situation in the sector. We need active Minister that can move around like former minister, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina.
“We need to ask the minister which aspect of the farm products are we producing enough that is profitable to farmers and affordable to the citizens.
He added “In the sixties and seventies, Nigeria used to be self sufficient in some of the leading cash crops like cocoa, oil palm, rubber, groundnuts, among others, but now we are no more instead, we import some of these products now into the country. We import ordinary tomatoes pastes, toothpicks, rice, palm oil, vegetable oil. Nigeria is far from food sufficiency.”Read Full Story