One of the priorities of the Federal Goverment is to diversify the economy mainly through agriculture and solid minerals development.
Agriculture,in times past, was the mainstay of the Nigerian economy. But, that changed with the coming of oil.
The times are bad now and the wisdom in going back to agriculture is clear to all.
Apart from our natural endowments in the sector, food remains the first need of man and no country can be regarded as great when it cannot fees its citizenry.
The intensification of efforts to return agriculture to its former pride of place has continued under the present government.
The support giving to farmers in the North in the production of rice has led to the harnessing of the nation's vast potential in rice, with varieties such as "ofada" and "Abakaliki" now popular in the country.
Our farmers have to rapidly move away from manual to mechanized farming. The fact that we are still grappling with high food prices underscores this point. The more our farmers embrace modern practices and innovations in agriculture, the more better our chances of optimising our potential in the sector.
The real challenges, after attaining local food self- sufficiency, is how to add value to the raw agricultural products for the export market and the attacks of farmers by suspected herdsmen.
To achieve our dream of self-sufficiency in food production and boost exports, government must pay attention to the latest threat to food production and wholesome development of the agricultural sector - the herdsmen/ farmers clashes. In the last few months, many traditional farming communities have been sacked from their ancestral homes and occupations, thus greatly impeding their capacity to grow and contribute to the effort to feed the nation.
This is a grave danger to the successes achieved so far in agriculture, let government summon the political will to find a lasting and permanent solution to the herdsmen menace and the threat it poses to our food production goals.
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