Southwest States Launch Food Production Plans to Combat Food Crisis

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Governors in Nigeria’s southwestern region have unveiled comprehensive food production programs aimed at addressing the persistent high prices of food items, according to the Nation. This initiative follows President Bola Tinubu’s directive for governors to develop a realistic template to boost food production within one week.

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The program prioritizes agricultural sector revitalization, focusing on staples such as rice, maize, cassava, and poultry farming. Abandoned dams are also set to be revitalized for irrigation purposes.

The escalating food prices have exacerbated hunger and poverty, with the National Bureau of Statistics reporting a rise in food inflation to 40.66% in May, up from 24.82% the previous year. Contributing factors include increased prices of semovita, oatflake, yam flour, garri, beans, potatoes, yams, palm oil, vegetable oil, stockfish, and various meats.

Historically, agriculture was Nigeria’s economic backbone before the discovery of crude oil, contributing significantly to GDP and export earnings during the 1960s. The governors of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, and Ekiti, operating under the Southwest Governors’ Forum, have instructed their agriculture commissioners to advance the plans formulated during their May meeting in Ibadan.

The Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission facilitated this meeting, enabling states to exchange ideas on boosting regional food production. Agreed strategies include clearing large farmlands, creating farm units, enhancing the Amotekun security outfit to protect farmers, and large-scale production of short-term crops like maize, sweet potatoes, and vegetables.

Additional measures involve revitalizing dormant dams for irrigation, improving agricultural mechanization, adopting a cluster farming model, expanding input distribution, and establishing an electronic agriculture database. Each state will support farmers in clearing a minimum of 1,000 hectares of farmland.

Cluster farming, which offers economies of scale, will streamline security, production, and distribution processes, ultimately reducing food prices. Ekiti State has already begun clearing land, while Oyo State offers farmers incentives for land clearance.

The states are also set to strengthen and enforce anti-grazing laws to boost farmer confidence. The governors will submit their plans to President Tinubu, who has expressed federal support for these initiatives.

Emman Tochi
Emman Tochihttps://naija247news.com
Emma Tochi is Naija247news Media Northern Bureau Chief, he's based in FCT Abuja. He overseas the northern operations of this business media

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