A renowned agriculturist, Akingbala Adetokunbo, has urged the new agriculture and food security minister, Abubakar Kyari, to implement quick interventions to save the agricultural sector.
Adetokunbo gave the advice in a social media post published on his Twitter page on Thursday, August 24.
He noted that Nigeria’s food shortages should be addressed immediately, adding that effectiveness and accountability should be the minister’s watchword.
”Congratulations on your appointment as minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. However, let’s quickly cut to the chase so you know what you’re dealing with by the numbers regarding our food inflation at 30%.
”Our food shortages in metric tons are as follows Rice ~ 2,200,000 tons Wheat ~ 4,000,000 tons Corn ~ 11,000,000 tons Fish ~ 1,300,000 tons Cassava ~ 24,000,000 tons Palm Oil ~ 1,100,000 tons Tomato ~ 1,100,000 tons Poultry ~ 245,000,000 tons Pulses ~ 1,000,000 tons.
”Here are some quick interventions that can be streamlined for effectiveness and accountability. Seeds standardisation, the seed quality determines the harvest. Fertiliser Access tied to digital identification Herbicides and Pesticides regulations Planting Calendar.
”A major cause for part of our shortages is traceable to insecurity, especially across the North West and North Central; this has to be tackled with extreme prejudice because as food inflation soars, it also compounds the insecurity around the country.
”Food security is National security; you’d also have to resolve the farmer-herder issues. This is the 21st century; agriculture is a business and no longer a part of culture.”
Meanwhile, Senator Kyari has acknowledged that one of the biggest problems in the country is hunger and vowed to tackle it head-on.
“I think we have a big challenge, but not that it is unsurmountable. Our target is not only to secure and feed the country but also to export food, which we have that potential, and it is just there ready to be tapped,” he said.