Mr. Joseph Owolabi, the President of Food Growers Association of Nigeria (FOGAN), has disclosed that grassroots farmers across the nation would be provided with modern equipment, as well as training on modern farming techniques.
The President who made this disclosure while speaking at a news conference in Abuja, said the initiatives would help in boosting food production in Nigeria through mechanized farming techniques, as farmers would be trained on how to handle tractors, harvesters and sprayers, among others.
According to a news report by NAN, Mr. Owolabi while speaking on the growth potentials and economic gains in the agro-allied industry, explained that agro-business is going to be more lucrative than the financial services industry and the civil service within the targeted year 2023.
In line with this target, he disclosed that the Association is set to bring the unemployed youth back to the farm as a business, not just as subsistence farmers.
In this regard, in order to enhance farm yields and the productivity of biological assets, FOGAN will provide fertilizers, insecticide and seedlings at affordable prices to members nationwide
The association would partner with the Federal, State and Local Governments to bring the majority of youths interested in farming to do it as agro-business, while plans were underway by the association to increase its membership from the present three million to 10 million by 2022 planting season.
Owolabi said the association would equally initiate measures aimed at preserving and protecting the interest of all its members.
What they are saying
While speaking at a news conference in Abuja yesterday, Mr. Owolabi said: “Our members will be given a conducive environment to plant crops suitable for their environment, through the Nigeria Institute of Soil Science, to achieve a bountiful harvest. We will make provision for silos to store all perishable or non-perishable crops in all the 774 local governments.
“FOGAN is set to bring the overwhelming unemployed youth back to the farm as a business, not just as subsistence farmers, agriculture should be a business, performing like other businesses. FOGAN will also provide fertilizers, insecticides and seedlings at affordable prices to members nationwide.
“The association, therefore, is partnering with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to provide sprayers, seedlings, tractors and other equipment at affordable rates.”
Why this matters
- This initiative is expected to help resolve and fill the gaps embedded in the country’s food production and supply network, as the training will help to increase the use of mechanized agricultural equipment while neglecting the sub-optimal traditional methods of farming.
- This, however, will play a key role in boosting food production in Nigeria.
- It will help to ward off the persistent increase in food prices across the nation, and also address the problems of food insecurity in the nation.
- The initiative which will make provision for silos to store all perishable or non-perishable crops in all the 774 local governments is expected to play a key role in curbing food wastage in the nation, and ensure that a substantial amount of agricultural produce gets to the markets.