By Chidi Nkwopara
Owerri -Â Macro-economic instability, which arises when investors are not sure of changes in government fiscal and policy matters, has been identified as one of the major factors militating against the countryâ€™s self-sufficiency in food production.
OtherÂ identified constraints to achieving food sufficiency in the country include high cost of inputs, poor access to funds, poorÂ infrastructure, especially bad road network and poor productivity.
The Head of Unit, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, Imo State, Dr. Anselm Opara, stated this in a paper, â€œAgriculture, A panacea for economic meltdown in Nigeriaâ€, which he delivered at the Diamond Jubilee Celebration of Holy Ghost College, Owerri.
â€œIn a country where only five percent of the cultivated arable land is irrigated, dependence on erratic rainfall leads to low output. Nigeriaâ€™s fertilizer consumption at 7kg per hectare is one of the lowest in Sub-Saharan Africaâ€, Opara said.
According to him, poor road network connecting the rural markets is not helping the situation, even as he contended that â€œelectricity is a luxury in most areas, leading to poor industrial capacity, poor incomes and job lossesâ€.
He said that global meltdown would not have affected Nigeria adversely if the nationâ€™s agricultural endowments had been exploited to the fullest, over the years.