Agriculturalist blames Nigeria’s declining agric production on decreasing number of farmers
An agriculturalist, Dr Tunde Arosanyin, has blamed the declining agricultural production in the country on the decreasing number of farmers and the use of ancient farming methods.
Arosanyin, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Tunde Agric Consultancy Services, made the observation in Abuja.
“It is a fact that the farming population is decreasing while the consuming population is increasing; this is one of the major reasons why Nigeria is currently facing food shortage.
“Farming is not attractive to the youth because of the crude methods of farming, and the ageing farmers are reducing due to illness, death or old age.
“There appear some dangerous trends on the horizon; the government at all levels should make efforts to curb the trends at this critical stage of our development.’’
Arosanyin said that Nigeria had turned to a nation that depended on food imports, instead of exporting agricultural produce to earn foreign exchange, as it was the case during the First Republic, shortly after Nigeria’s independence. .
He, therefore, called for the provision of modern farming equipment so as to make farming more attractive to the younger generation of Nigerians.
He said that the huge amount of money, which the country spent on food importation every year, would not augur well for the country’s economic development.
“Besides, any nation that imports food cannot be said to be an independent country,’’ he added.
Arosanyin called for the introduction of more credit facilities and the provision of farm inputs for farmers through organised farmer associations.
He said that the inputs should channelled to genuine farmers via their commodity associations and cooperative societies.
According to him, this will spur unity among the farmers and encourage young farmers to take agriculture as a serious business.
However, Arosanyin urged the farmers to make good use of existing government facilities to boost their productivity and tackle the current food crisis in the country.
“When everybody plays his or her role with zeal and commitment, our potential as a nation in food production will be fully realised.
“The leaders should lead well while followers should follow with passion; together, we shall achieve the Nigeria of our dream where food will be readily available and affordable by all,’’ he said.
Arosanyin said that the challenges confronting farmers in Nigeria included unavailability of enough lands for farming activities, blaming the problem on the existing land use system and land ownership patterns in the country.
He also said that poor agricultural extension services as well as gaps existing between research findings and actual crop growing were some the major challenges facing agricultural production in the country.