By Fatima Muraina
As the world celebrates this year’s World Food Day on Friday, governments have been urged to provide stimulus package for farmers so as to end food scarcity
Agricultural experts who spoke with The Hope included the Director, Teaching and Research Farm, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Akoko, Dr Jibayo Oyebade, Prof. James Okunola of the Department of Agriculture Extension, Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), and a Senior lecturer , Federal College of Agriculture, Akure (FECA), Dr, Emmanuel Moyinjesu.
They noted that the celebration of the World Food Day is an eye opener for government and stakeholders in addressing the challenges hindering food production, sufficiency and sustainability.
Prof. James Okunola of FUTA said the World Food Day is celebrated to create awareness to the whole world for the need to take agriculture seriously which he said is the mainstay of the economy and life.
Describing this year as a peculiar one due to the COVID-19 and droughts, he urged government to provide a stimulus package to assist farmers recover from the lost.
He charged the government to come up with policies that will help to improve agricultural production .
His words: ” I know there is Anchor Borrower in Nigeria and many others but how effective are they? Is it those that were supposed to get it that are really getting it? How are they monitoring them and helping them to solve their problems?, he demanded.
Dr Jibayo Oyebade challenged stakeholders and government to celebrate the World Food Day with innovations in form of food show.
“Apart from people bringing what they have to the exhibition, professionals must have their stands to correct production techniques to increase production output. .
This, according to him, is a way of stimulating increase in production because our farming system are completely parochial and underdeveloped, unlike in the modern countries.
He reiterated the need for a conference of every local government in the state coming up with their natural endowments in food production be it crop or poultry.
Dr Emmanuel MoyinJesu charged stakeholders and the technocrats including the farmers pressure groups like Farmers Congress and Commodity Associations to ensure they network to celebrate the World Food Day.
While stating that not celebrating the day would be a minus to the state and Farmers, he urged government to make agriculture a priority with more budgetary allocation, explore the comparative advantage of the agricultural value chain system and doing what he called a backward integration to go back to the primary and secondary schools to give agriculture a drive.