• The Federal Government has been urged to urgently commission a comprehensive blueprint on sustainable agricultural development, which will help to reduce hunger and poverty among Nigerians, and explore partnerships with the private sector.

    This was the submission of Otunba Gabriel Ogunsanya, who is the Chairman of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Osun State Chapter in a recent interview with our reporter.

    Ogunsanya, who is also the CEO of FEG Agro Farms Nigeria Limited, also advised the government to retool its agriculture policy to include a greater focus on agribusiness as a critical driver of future developments, and to give priority to expenditure on public goods that will boost infrastructural growth.

    There is the urgent need for a major boost in investment in agriculture and rural development, he said, adding that these are crucial to improving farmers’ lives and livelihoods. He canvassed the implementation of a blueprint that will combine investment in income earning opportunities with social safety nets to promote a better future for farmers.

    Assessing the contributions of the last administration to agric development, he said: “The last administration tried its best, which was not enough, because we are still importing everything. Because of this, the present administration should lay emphasis on the improvement of the agricultural sector”.

    With Chief Audu Ogbeh, a farmer, as the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ogunsanya expressed the hope that things would change for the better.

    “The Chief Ogbeh that I know is a good farmer who operates excellently in agro-business. He adds value to what he is producing. He makes sure that all his crops are processed to add value to them; he has been a committed and seasoned farmer,” Ogunsanya said.

    He advised President Muhammadu Buhari to promote agricultural entrepreneurship through the development of sustainable commercial farming. This, he said, will help to provide employment.

    He stressed that there should be huge investments in irrigation, value addition, increased production, human resources, affordable inputs and appropriate loans, besides fertiliser projects and marketing.

    While emphasising the need for a stable supply of major agricultural produce, he called for coordinated development between urban and rural areas as well as between agriculture, manufacturing and the service sector in rural areas.


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