By Gabriel Ewepu
The National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, Arc Kabir Ibrahim, Tuesday, raised concern over threatening insecurity to food production and security.
Ibrahim made the assertion while speaking with Vanguard on farmers’ inability to go to their farms this farming season due to increased activities of banditry, insurgency, kidnapping and ethno-religious restiveness.
He also added that farmers seriously need support of government in financial accessibility, provision of improved seeds, fertilizers, agrochemicals, mechanization, extension services, market, and others.
He said: “Insecurity is a risk factor in the attainment of food security in Nigeria. Northern Nigeria with its vast arable land is easily the food basket of Nigeria but the bedeviling insecurity in this region is threatening the food security of the whole nation.
“The Boko Haram insurgency in the North East, the banditry and kidnappings in the North West and the ethno-religious restiveness in the North Central and parts of Taraba State are risk factors in the attainment of food sufficiency in Nigeria.”
He also added that harrowing experience of COVID-19 lockdown and stay-at-home orders have compounded the situation and poses serious risk to food security as the pandemic continues to take its toll on the nation and across all sectors.
“COVID-19 pandemic locking everyone and everything down is the mother of all risk factors to food Security in Nigeria”, he stated.
However, he advised government to invest massively in the agricultural sector to up-scale food production and safeguard the lives of Nigerians from severe hunger and anger.
“To mitigate all these risks the government has to invest heavily in restoring security and up-scaling Agricultural productivity.
“For the attainment of the much needed food sufficiency as espoused by the President in a comment after Eid-El-Fitr prayers in his home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, farmers will need the support of the government in the provision of improved seeds, fertilizers and agrochemicals.
“Above all, the restoration of security in the affected regions will help to optimize food production by the farmers as they then will be able to go back to their farms seamlessly”, he said.