Food security, pressing issue facing Nigeria, says Gov. Adeleke

By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo

Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke has described food security as the most pressing issue facing the nation, which needed immediate action.

The Governor, stated this when he received the report of the food security committee put in place to proffer solutions to various aspects of food security which include farm security, food pricing and availability as well as widening operation support and environment for farmers.

Adeleke said, “We cannot wait any longer. The issue of affordability and availability of food to our people cannot be treated with levity. We must support our people to survive this high inflation and emerging food insecurity.

  “I am directing the setting up of an implementation Committee under my Special Adviser on Agriculture. The committee whose members will be made public on Monday must ensure immediate actions are taken on the recommendations.”

The Commissioner for Agriculture who doubles as the committee chairman, Hon. Tola Faseru who submitted the report to the Governor, said the report considered the pressing challenges of food security to make far reaching recommendations.

The Committee Chairman who commended the foresight of Governor Adeleke, said the 18 man committee conducted spot survey and research to arrive at the recommendations which he described as actionable and implementable within a framework of short, medium and long term matrix.

The Committee, according to a statement signed by the Governor’s spokesperson, Mallam Olawale Rasheed had recommended a series of solutions to address food security challenges which are divided into short , medium and long term agenda.

On farm security, the Committee recommended the establishment of Farm Security Network comprising personnel from various security Agencies including Traditional leaders; integration of the services of local vigilantes and hunters; immediate education and training on farm security and pest control for farmers; strengthen collaboration between local and official security forces with knowledge of the region for farm protection; orientation programme for Fulani and Farmers; introduction of border poisoning plants; introduction of physical measures to protect farm borders; launching of Community Based Security Intelligence Program and passing into law of Anti-Open Grazing bill

On expanding farm activities, the Committee recommended provision of farm equipment through public-private partnership (PPP); establishment of a farm equipment leasing scheme for immediate access to tools at a subsidized fee; renewal of the memorandum of understanding with Leventis Foundation; ensure immediate continuation of annual training programs for Osun youths in Agriculture and Agribusiness; supply of farm implements through structured farm groups including Women in Agriculture; facilitate the immediate supply of tools and inputs to farmers through organized groups; mass mobilization of citizens on home farming; implement long-term incentive programs such as subsidized seed and tool distribution, and tractor availability for sustained agricultural growth;

On food market centre, the Committee canvassed establishment of a central market for subsidized farm produce to ensure food affordability at three Senatorial districts; facilitate the allocation and clearing of land to interested youths and women for agricultural pursuits; initiate irrigation farming system at Farm Settlements; introduce irrigation systems for improved and sustainable farming practices; train retirees and about-to-retire employees on home gardening; rehabilitation of existing 13 Tractor Hiring Offices for better tractorization service delivery; establishment of 3-member monitoring teams in each Tractor Hiring Office; tracking the tractors for monitoring purposes; procurement of GPS for land size measurement.

On tracking of food prices, the Committee further suggested conduct of a Market Survey of food items in Osun State; purchase Rice, Garri, and other staple foods in bulk and sell at controlled prices; implement a short-term initiative to sell essential foods to households at controlled prices for the next three months; establish Osun Food Mart at each Senatorial district for easy buying and selling of the subsidized products.

Others are to establish Market Task force on tracking foodstuff marketing and pricing; form an ad hoc committee to track and address issues such as hoarding, fake measurements, and price manipulation in the short term, as well as enforcing compliance with regulated food prices; promote the establishment of storage facilities to ensure better food preservation and availability; implement a policy for buying back excess yam and potato tubers to manage supply and demand; establishment and drafting of price regulations policy among several others.

Back to top button