26 October 2008

Nigeria: Benue Agric Varsity VC Canvasses Self Sufficiency in Food Production

Makurdi — The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Agriculture, Makurdi (UAM), Professor Daniel Uza has called on Nigerians to learn from the lessons of its past failures and plan very well to achieve self sufficiency in food production by the year 2020.

He said this in a paper titled, "Food Security Policies and Programmes in Nigeria", delivered at an International Conference on Food Security at the McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

Prof. Uza said that the global concern about food security is increasing due to the gravity of the worsening food crises among the developing nations.

He attributed the causes of food scarcity to environmental factors that have not been addressed. He said only good governance and allocation of resources alongside basic infrastructures will motivate the private sector to drive the agricultural economy.

The root causes of food insecurity, he said can be linked to the heterogeneous factors, including unstable social and political environment as well as poor governance. He also identified civil strives and wars, macro economic imbalances in trade flows, natural resources and disasters among factors inhibiting food security.

He called for the adoption of irrigation farming which he said if adopted, will ensure three times higher yields than crops that grow under the rain.

Prof. Uza said increase in cassava, rice, millet, wheat from the present percentages can be achieved between 2008 and 2011. He said if tractors are made use of in Africa, food production will increase, which will lead to the elimination of poverty and food insecurity.

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