Food security: Don urges establishment of farm settlements in LGAs
A don, Prof. Simon Ugwu, on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to establish farm settlements in council areas to boost food production.
Ugwu, a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Nsukka that establishment of the farms would facilitate food security and create employments.
“It is unfortunate that some vast arable acres of land are lying waste when there is acute food shortage.
“The high cost of food items in markets is an indication that quantity of food produced is insufficient for the country’s population.
“Establishment of farm settlements in every local government area will boost food production, provide employment opportunities and increase foreign exchange,” he said.
The lecturer urged the government to mechanise agriculture so as to make it attractive to the youth, who see it as dirty work meant only for old people in rural areas.
“Government should mechanise agriculture by buying tractors, diggers and other modern implements and equipment used in industrialised nations for massive agriculture.
“Graduates of agriculture should be employed by government on graduation to teach rural farmers on modern ways of farming.
“Government should ensure that farmers in the country are given soft loans, subsidised farm inputs such as fertilisers, and improved seedlings to help them to achieve bumper harvest,” he said.
Ugwu, a former dean in the faculty, advised Nigerians to create gardens in their compounds to plant vegetables, garden eggs, maize and others.
“Education authorities should, as a matter of necessity, re-introduce school farms in primary and secondary schools so as to make children to know the importance of agriculture.
“Every family should see the importance of having garden in the compound; the vegetable you pick from your garden saves you some money; they are fresher than the ones you buy in the market.
“For this country to achieve food security, all hands must be on deck since, no matter your profession or your position, you must eat to live,” he said.