Adequate Funding Of Agriculture; A Panacea To Job Creation And Food Security – Aregbesola
“Any Agricultural venture that does not lead to the production of sufficient food for the citizens of any society is a failure”
These were the words of the Governor of the state of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola while speaking as the guest speaker at the Executive plenary of the maiden edition of ” Agbeloba Agric-Buisness Forum” put together by the Ekiti state government at the Ikogosi warm spring resort in Ekiti state.
Speaking further at the event which has as its theme; Engaging Ekiti State Resources to Develop Competitive Agri-Food Sector, Ogbeni Aregbesola said the best assistance the federal government can give to farmers is to set a guaranteed minimum price on agricultural products so as to encourage more people especially the youths into the business of agriculture.
While highlighting the huge economic value of agricultural products, Ogbeni Aregbesola said that the food needs of Lagos alone is enough to serve as a ready market for any state who can invest in the sector saying that the food needs of Lagos alone is worth 3.5billion naira on daily basis which can enable any state that can key into it to earn about 350million naira daily.
The Governor noted that the significance of the forum is that it will open the eyes of many to the opportunities that have been wasted as a result of not committing essential resources into the sector which is capable of giving the nation hope and guarantee the future stressing that a nation that can not feed itself is dead.
Ogbeni Aregbesola who noted that any nation that depends on others for food is non existent pointed out that the 11billion dollars that Nigeria spends on the importation of food is not sustainable and makes the nation vulnerable saying that it is shameful that Nigeria is the biggest importer of fish and the second largest importer of rice in the world.
He explained that the school feeding programme in the state of Osun is already making millionaires out of the poultry business because about 300,000 eggs is needed on a daily basis which makes the state to look elsewhere to neighbouring states of Oyo and Kwara to be able to meet the demand thereby encouraging states to look inward and develop the agricultural sector.
The forum which has brought together the who -is -who in the agric sector is expected to run for three days.