Thursday 11 January 2024

As South West food dependency worsens, Emiola Ogunsanya emphasizes on increased food production

South West Farmers are preparing for their meeting at the College of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Technology (CAFFTECH), Ijeda-Ijesa, Oriade local government Osun State slated for Tuesday, 16th January, 2024, consequently, a voice has been raised on the need for stakeholders to take a number of major steps in order to increase the supply of food.

The South West is increasingly becoming the most food insecure zone in the country echoed Otunba (Dr) Gabriel Emiola Ogunsanya a.k.a. FegAgro, a former Chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in press release seen by KAKAKIOODUA correspondent.

Accordingly to him, a few decades ago Southwest was the leading producer of a number of agric-related products such as palm oil, rubber, cocoa, yam tubers, cassava, tomatoes and the list goes on but unfortunately, the trend has changed.

"Ideally, South West should be close to self sufficiency with its food requirements. But alas!, food production is under tremendous pressure due to the ever-growing population of the region and the carefree attitude of the youth population towards taking agro-related activities seriously. It is therefore expected that stakeholders at the meeting should deliberate on measures to increase food production for the teeming population and making a turn-around decisions that can make the zone a leading agric- producing one since Agriculture has suffered from mismanagement, inconsistent and poorly conceived government policies.

"It's high time that the Southwest should wake up to it's responsibility of feeding itself not relying on other regions for it's food source. 

"However, l have a dream that we can do it and that it's achievable. first and foremost southwest is endowed with sufficient human and natural resources to feed itself. Our focus first should be to organize ourselves into viable formidable cooperative groups in each of the states of the Southwest and each state will grow based on its potencials. For instance, Lagos  will take charge of our farm produce marketing,  fortunately for us Ogun state has put in place agro cargo for export of agricultural products how do we take advantage of that opportunity without being a spectator while others play the  match?

"We should be able to leverage on Ogun Osun River Basin Development Authority and Benin Owena River Basin Development Authority for all year round farming for export.

"Let me reiterate here that no state will be held back by others there will be healthy competition among states, therefore, each state should brace up to take charge of their state affairs.

"Daily, Lagos state slaughtered 5 to 6 thousand cattle heads ditto Ogun state all are imported despite the fact that we are endowed with human and natural resources to produce via ranching, also, our poultry industry is in comatose. l think we need to wake up before it's too late. A stitch in time, they say, safes nine!" Otunba (Dr) Gabriel Emiola Ogunsanya remarks 

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