Famine Imminent if Nigeria fails to Engage Actively in Agric Production – Agric Commissioner
By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna
Kaduna State Commissioner for Agriculture, Malam Ibrahim Hassaini, has warned that if Nigeria fails to produce enough food to feed her citizens, the country will soon find herself in serious trouble because of her growing population.
The commissioner gave the warning in Kaduna on Monday, at an event to mark this year’s World Food Day, organized by the Agro Processing Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS), project.
According to him, “The population of Nigeria today stands at 220,000,000 (two hundred and twenty million). If we do not engage actively in agriculture and produce the food we require to feed the population, we will be in trouble.
“We should be practicing agriculture not only in the field that are available for agriculture but even in our houses. There are a number of technology, there are numbers of information that we can grow what we will eat or what we will use in our houses, it is very very important”.
The World Food Day is commemorated annually by the United Nations, on the 16th of October. The theme for this year is “Leave no one behind”.
This theme, the Commissioner said is apt and very sensitive, adding “actually in agriculture no one is left behind and in food nobody is left behind because, I don’t think there is anybody who does not eat food anywhere. So, nobody is left behind.
“Am happy to say that Kaduna State is in the forefront in the 36 States of Nigeria including FCT. We have comparative advantages in a number of agricultural produce.
“This day while we celebrate, we need to encourage ourselves with the potential we have in Kaduna State and in Nigeria. Everybody needs to be implored to engage in agriculture in one way or the other.
We are number one in the production of maize in Nigeria, we are the number one in the production of ginger in Africa, we are the number three in the production of soya beans in Nigeria. We are the number two in the production of tomatoes in Nigeria. We are doing very well in the production of cowpea, we are doing very well in the production of potatoes. We are doing very well in the production of eggs”.
On his part, the State Project Coordinator for Appeals, Dr. Aminu Yahaya, revealed that the food production effort by the State government is already making gains as hotels outside the state are placing orders for eggs and rice produced by Kaduna farmers.
“Last week the Federal Government of Nigeria did an exhibition in celebration of the World Food day under the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Kaduna Appeals participated, and some of the beneficiaries were in Nassarawa to display their products and they mad us proud because each and every item they went to display were sold there and then.
“A few of them were actually bringing in more supplies from Kaduna to Nassarawa because they were getting orders. What will surprise and make you proud Sir, is that some of these products include Eggs, which are available everywhere, but because of the premium they attach to quality in terms of the quality of bags, quality of feeds, and in terms of packaging of these products, made their products to stand out and some of them already have orders from hotels in Abuja to be supplying eggs, rice”. He said.