AGBEKOYA: FAMINE IS IMMINENT IN NIGERIA
The guild of farmers otherwise known as Agbekoya Society has alerted the nation that famine is imminent in Nigeria in the next five years if the federal and state governments do not take urgent steps to revolutionize agriculture.
In a release made available to Journalists through the media consultant of the guild, Chief Olatunji Bandele, after a meeting of the society and other specialized farmers in the South -west, which took place in Ago-Are, Oyo State on Tuesday, the President General of the society, Chief Kamorudeen Aremu Okikiola called on President Jonathan and South-West governors to take proactive steps in addressing the issue of high cost of food items and declining agricultural products in the country.
'A situation where Nigeria spends about N650 billion to import food items like rice, fish, palm-oil, groundnut oil, sugar, etc is unacceptable.
'It is amazing that in 2011 budget, only 4 percent was allocated to agriculture. This is an indication that both the federal and state governments are paying lips service to agriculture and food security.
According to Chief Okikiola , no nation could do without being able to feed herself and only needed to augment with few importation. 'We see today that the prices of tomato and other food items have skyrocketed because of flooding on farms in the North. The farmers in the South are not producing enough of these products because of lack of funds to purchase fertilizer and other agricultural inputs.
Agbekoya Society, as a group in the South -West in 2010/2011, cultivated over 5000 hectares of land to plant cassava, maize, yam and pepper and individual members have farms in their different localities without any assistance from federal and state governments.
The society has embarked on the reorganization and integration of farmers and recruitment of youths and graduates of agriculture to join the Agbekoya Farmers Society in the South-west in order to tackle the imminent famine.
The president general is also calling on President Jonathan and the South -west governors to come to the aid of the real farmers that are languishing in poverty in the rural areas in order to prevent social vices and armed robbery caused by hunger.