A legal luminary, Otunba Kunle Kalajaiye (SAN), who is a mechanised farmer, has raised the alarm that food crisis may hit Nigeria before 2025 if physical insecurity rocking the country is not decisively addressed.
He raised the alarm in an interview with journalists on the sideline of Fourth Grace Foundation Day Lecture, entitled: “Can Nigeria Achieve Food Security in 2030′, delivered by the Executive Secretary, ECOWAS Rice Observatory, ECOWAS Commission Headquarters, Abuja, Nigeria, Dr. (Mrs) Boladale Adebowale, which was organised by the Grace Leadership Foundation, held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, at the weekend.
Kalejaiye, who chaired the programme, noted that agribusiness is lucrative and can help the country to reduce unemployment, but farmers would continue to run at losses without physical security that would guarantee the safety of their plantations in the farm.
According to him, “Many people in the villages can’t even go to the farm. The farmers will rather scale down or abandon farming. There’s no point farming when someone will bring their flocks to destroy everything you’ve planted in the farm.”
He, however, appealed to the government to be proactive on food insecurity because it is impacting seriously and negatively on food production. He warned that unless the government is ready to tackle the issue of insecurity, food sufficiency would be a mirage in the nation.
Kalejaye urged the rich in the society to invest in agriculture towards reducing hunger in the country. He added that “It is one business that is lucrative and without physical security, we can’t have food security, which is very important. We will start feeling the impact in two years. Government can still do something when they realise that with good security food production will be.”
The guest lecturer, Dr. Adebowale, noted that if Nigeria would achieve food security in 2030, deliberate actions and policies should be emplaced by the Federal Government to meet the goal set by the United Nations. She noted that Nigeria should take a cue from the deliberate actions and policies of Malaysia, which made it to prosper in the area of production of palm oil, than Nigeria, that actually gave the country palm oil seeds in the 1970s.
President, Grace Leadership Foundation, Bola Olowe, an engineer, jn his welcome address, Olowe, said: “Nigeria is now confronted on a daily basis with the menace of kidnapping, banditry, terrorism amongst others. Our situation, as a nation at this time, we need to work to restore our agricultural fields, rice, groundnut pyramids, cocoa fields and so on.
“Our youths are leaving the country in droves, seeking a better life and future abroad, contributing to the development of other nations; a terrible loss to Nigeria, ” he added, urging the government to rise up and confront the problems, jeopardizing the future of the youths and nation.”