Provost optimistic of surplus food in Nigeria in 2017
The Provost, Federal College of Agriculture, Akure, Dr Samson Odedina, has predicted surplus of foodstuff in 2017.
Odedina told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Akure that major stakeholders, including governments, farmers and technical providers, were investing massively to develop the agricultural sector.
“Nigerians are problem-solvers and I don’t think any problem can overwhelm us.
“I want to allay fears of those saying that there will be famine in 2017 because a lot of people have responded to embrace agriculture in recent times.
“We will soon see the results in a short while because there has been tremendous increase in response to agriculture by Nigerians of all strata.
“All this will yield good results and there is no way that this response will go down the drain,’’ he said.
The provost added that 500 people were currently being trained on agriculture, adding that people came from far north to undergo the training without being paid.
“We just advertised on pages of newspapers and it was widely embraced and they are financing themselves.
“The moment this is happening, we should know that there is great consciousness towards agriculture and that we do not want to suffer.
“Nobody wants to die, therefore, people are embracing agriculture now,’’ he stated.
He said that the current trend in the sector, if properly managed, would maintain balance of prices of food that would be favourable to farmers and the consumers.
“We are rising up to tackle hunger.
“Prices of food will crash naturally, if cost of production is reduced and there is high output; this happens when trained farmers are involved in food production.
“When they are trained with infrastructure in place, everyone will smile including the farmers and consumers,’’ he said.
The provost noted that the year 2016 awakened the consciousness of Nigerians in embracing agriculture as a means of survival.
“This outgoing year, 2016, is an interesting year because it enabled people to appreciate agriculture as means of food provision, a means of employment generation and for industries as source of raw materials.
“We now know that it is through agriculture that we can revive our economy because people are now shouting agriculture.
“It has raised our consciousness that we can achieve greatly through agriculture and we, the stakeholders, are taking the bull by the horn by making use of the consciousness to enlighten the public to embrace agriculture more,’’ he noted.
He, therefore, enumerated the school’s programmes towards enhancing agricultural output, saying that the institute was ready to make agriculture attractive to youths.
“We are aiming at making agriculture attractive so that youths can embrace it as a course and study it under same condition that others are studying other courses.
“This will make them not to be discriminated against.
“Our college must be conducive for it and they will learn it via ICT with availability of modern infrastructure and being trained in using modern technology to actualise their aims and targets.
“We are supporting government at all levels in their huge investment in the sector in creating jobs,’’ he said.