Experts advise youths on necessity of subsistence farming
As part of the celebration of the World Food Day, Gourmet Guide, a food and nutrition guide on the Unilag Radio 103.1 FM, organised a programme themed ‘Food and Agriculture in Nigeria; Raising Innovative and Entrepreneurial Youths’ alongside a food fair exhibitions at the University of Lagos which was centered on opening the minds of youths to the opportunities in agriculture and its innovative platforms.
Sola Adeniyi, CEO, Go Green African Initiative, the keynote speaker, said there was a rising need for Nigerians to actively participate in subsistence farming.
“There is a drastic decrease in availability of white collar jobs, so this calls for families to indulge in subsistence farming. There is greater need of subsistence farming in the urban areas, where families can indulge in fishery, domestic snailry, planting of flowers and the likes and in the end, transactions can be made among these families leading to a raise in the standard of living, increase in savings and in the long run, an increase in the gross domestic product,” Adeniyi said.
He further said that there was a decline in the level of exportation.
According to him, “So far, the level of importation has exceeded that of exportation and most of the locally-made products are much more expensive than those imported. “It is a glaring fact that most of the locally-made goods are more expensive than the ones imported; this is because their level of agriculture is productive and their government policies are very favourable which inadvertently cut down the prices of their products and makes it very cheap”.
Adeniyi further said that “There are diverse ways we can improve agriculturally; one of which is by productive or collective farming, just as it is done abroad. In this system, various farmers put in their resources together which results in high volume of output and then the excesses are being sold out at a considerably low price. Another factor is availability of fund, which most farmers don’t have. The government should seek ways to make funds available and where there isn’t any; farmers can always fall back on collective farming.”
He commended government’s efforts, but noted that “corruption in a way has hindered evident progress.” The keynote speaker also advised that government should not get involved with business but leave it to the private individuals.
“Government is tying its best but the restraining factor is corruption which has eaten deep into the system and has made its effort look so slim. Government shouldn’t get involved in business rather they should concentrate on creating favourable policies; policies that will increase local content.”
Speaking during the event, Lydia Eke, anchor of the Gourmet Guide on Unilag Radio and convener of the event, said that there was a high rate of food wastage in Nigeria and that measures should be taken, individually as well as intervention on the path of the government to see that food wastage is curbed. “There is high rate of wastage in Nigeria, as a result of instability of power supply, mismanagement, low propensity to save, among other factors. The government should seek measures on how to cut wastage. Rather than buying in a large quantity and wasting it due to instability of power supply, buy in little quantities to avoid wastage.
“The government can also seek ways to make those in the IDP camp participate in the production processes by deploying them to various farm lands. Such a programme could help the IDPs take care of themselves, while the excesses made from these engagements, can be sold to the populace which would in the long run bring in returns to the country,” Eke said.
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