Food Insecurity: States, Neglecting Agriculture In Nigeria

Nigerians currently faces what could pass as the worst food crisis in the annals of the nation.
Food items considered common in the past, have presently become luxuries as they are virtually beyond the reach of the common man.
As a result, hunger protests have erupted in various parts of the country.
All over the world, especially in the developed nations, agriculture remains on the ‘A’ list of governments’ priorities.
Nations like China, India, Russia, the United States, Brazil, even Ukraine, have emerged superpowers in grains production.
It is sad to learn that a war-torn Ukraine with a landmass of over 600,000 square kilometers compared to Nigeria’s nearly 1,000,000 million square kilometers, ranks among the leading producers of wheat in the world. This is inspite of Nigeria’s vast arable land and agro-friendly climate.
Indeed the Russia-Ukraine war which has reportedly disrupted the supply chain of wheat, have been fingered in the on-going hike in prices of bread nay other confectionery in Nigeria.
What a failure of leadership!
Reports have shown how Malaysia in Asia obtained palm seedlings from Nigeria some years ago, and transformed into the global superpower in palm oil production.
The point being made here is that while governments at all levels in the country are apparently failing in the area of agriculture, the state governments remain the main culprits.
Many state governments cannot point at any articulated agricultural programmes for their states. And inspite of huge annual budgetary allocations, states’ ministries of agriculture seem to have become mere avenues for retiring funds as there may hardly be any tangible agricultural projects to justify such budgetary allocations.
The milestones achieved by previous governments in the first and second republics, appear to have since been lost as many of today’s political leaders relegate this all-important sector of the country’s economy to the background.
We are afraid that if nothing serious is done now (especially, at state level), to revive as well as strengthen agriculture in Nigeria, the situation could degenerate to something more catastrophic in the nearest future.

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