The federal government has assured Nigerians that it is working round the clock to avert any imminent famine in 2017.
Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, gave the assurance over the weekend in Abuja. He blamed the current food insufficiency on the discovery of oil and urban migration.
According to Ogbeh, the Nigerian elite had distanced themselves from agriculture in the last five decades, since the discovery of oil. Also, urban migration led to the neglect of agriculture among Nigerians, especially the youth. He added that it was high time the youth engaged in agriculture aggressively.
Government Committed To Food Sufficiency
Ogbeh further stated that the Ministry of Agriculture had, in the last one year, ensured food sufficiency and security. This is through the religious implementation of government policies and programmes.
“We came in a year ago; precisely on 15 November, 2015. And ever since then, we have continued the push for food sufficiency. The first step we took was to inform the world that there would be no policy summersault. And we have kept to that.”
“So we decided to widen and deepen existing policies and programmes for sustainable development.”
The Minister also noted that the demand for grains by neighbouring countries resulted in the current shortfall in food supply. He added that this has shot up the population demanding grains by additional 180 million.
“It is a bit of difficulty for us here, because we are not yet producing as much grains as is required to meet the feeding needs of the country. But we cannot ban exports because of ECOWAS Treaty that goods produced in Africa can move freely,” he added.