Herdsmen: Ministries Of Agriculture Expresses Fear Over Food Shortage

The State ministries of agriculture officials have expressed fears that the constant attacks on farmers by herdsmen will lead to food shortage.

The officials, in the North-East, Middle Belt, and the southern part of the country, specifically warned that the development could lead to malnutrition and poor health.

The Benue State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. James Ambua, said food production in the state would likely drop by 40 per cent this year as a result of constant herdsmen attacks on farmers.

The commissioner lamented that the recent attacks came at a time when farmers in the state were supposed to harvest their crops, stressing that the bulk of the farmers who survived the attacks had been displaced and are taking refuge outside their communities.

He explained that the state had comparative advantage in rice, yam, corn, sesame seed, and beniseed (sesame), adding that some of the farms were also burnt by the attackers.

He said, “Following the New Year attacks, the production of farm crops has dropped by 40 per cent and this will surely have effect on the nation’s food production.

“The dry season farming has been scuttled by herdsmen attacks because Guma and Logo local government areas were attacked. The country will definitely have food crisis this year and in 2019.”

The Taraba State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr. David Kassa, also said the herdsmen killings was threatening national food security.

He said, “The Federal Government’s poor handling of herdsmen crisis in Taraba, Benue and other states will definitely throw the country into serious food crisis from this year on.”

The Chairman, Public Accounts and Petitions Committee in the Plateau State House of Assembly, Peter Gyendeng, said, “The impending food crisis from the Middle-Belt will likely spread to other parts of the country.”

The officials in charge of agriculture in the southwestern states of Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti have also raised the alarm that food crisis was imminent in the region this year.

The Ekiti State Commissioner for Agriculture, Kehinde Odebunmi, said, “Definitely, herdsmen attacks will affect food security in the South West region in particular, and the country in general, because the farmers have not been allowed to harvest their crops.”

He lamented that 10 hectares of castor seed, over 20 hectares of cassava plantation and over 100 hectares of rice were destroyed by the herdsmen in Oke Ako, Iyemero and Igede farm settlements, while they also torched more than 50 hectares of cassava plantation in Orin farm settlement.

Agriculture Development In The State of Osun

By Nobei Uju

With the precarious financial situation of Nigeria and the recessive economy being experienced due to lack of mechanisms for manufacturing the country’s necessities, several platforms and phoras have identified a return to Agriculture which was once the mainstay of the nation’s economy as the antidote to solving the situation.

 

For the Federal Government of Nigeria, the back to farm approach have recorded some successes especially with the Buhari administration stylishly banning the importation of staple foods to ensure that local production is given a huge boost; hence the results yielding from it already.

 

For the State of Osun where Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola governs, it is also a plus as the government through its Banish Hunger project of its six-point integral action plan initiated since 2010 has come a long way in making Agriculture one of the major cornerstones in rooting for the nation’s development.

 

The state since 2010 through the Osun Rural Enterprise and Agricultural Programme O’REAP has ensured standards in the state’s agricultural sector.

 

The O’REAP programme has facilitated the allocation of large hectares of land to erstwhile peasant farmers and interested members of the public who have passion for farming. Aside this, young and vibrant agriculturists from the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme, O’YES also had a wide range of benefits to acquire from the government’s initiative.

 

One of those areas is the selection of about 150 young individuals of the state for world best practices training in Germany. They were trained on every segment of Agriculture and the modern techniques in crop and animal production. These set of trained agricultural experts returned to the state few months ago and are ready to put into use the knowledge gained to meaningfully impact on the state’s agric sector.

 

For the State of Osun formerly seen as a state with no value, and has been classified as a dead State where nothing good can be gotten from is now turning into a model with the range of trained experts in the field. Aside those in O’REAP project initiative. There are also other programmes that have distinguished the Aregbesola administration ideas on agriculture.

 

Among these are O’Hub, O’Beef, O’Cattle, O’Livestock, O’Bops among others that have positively impacted on the people and as well attracted investment within the state by engaging local industries and companies in the sector.

 

Agricultural development in the State has not been carried alone, but with the help of an institute has helped the State in the reconstruction and the revamping of the different sector as its helping to increase productivity and the growth strength of the farms and livestock’s.

 

The State Of Osun is now the food basket of the Southwest with how much produce has been gotten from the Agriculture development, from livestock to cocoa production.

 

Indeed agriculture in the state is on it high peak as people are benefiting from it, sectors like the ongoing school feeding program, as the produce are gotten directly from farmers in the State and also the out pour of the rice production in the State and also with the livestock(O-pig) and so much more.