As part of efforts to cushion the effects of the deadly Coronavirus on Nigerians, Arc Kabir Ibrahim, National President of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has affirmed the need to upscale the nation’s agricultural production.
Ibrahim, in an address titled a Clarion call to all stakeholders to help mitigate the effects of Covid-19 on Nigeria’s food system, said while the farmers are willing to work assiduously to provide sufficient food for the nation’s large population, it is important to provide them with a further better enabling environment to be able produce optimally.
He noted that it is necessary to provide very good and high yielding seeds at affordable price to the farmers to enable them to be able to produce large quantities of staples peculiar to the various regions.
He explained the opportunities to provide adequate strategic storage facilities for grains and vegetables to mitigate post-harvest loss that could cripple the up-scaled production attained.
The AFAN President also said that it is important to provide dedicated power to agro- industrial estates across the nation to facilitate value addition and also provide diesel at affordable price to enable the wide and effective use of farm machinery especially using diesel fuel.
He further called for subsidised transportation of farm produce to various regions across the entire nation and also allow the periodic importation and exportation of essential goods and services across our boarders- Air, land and sea.
Speaking further he said that all Nigerian farmers are poised and fully awake to address the challenge of providing enough food to feed the nearly 200,000,000 mouths in the Nation.
“We are also not unmindful of the likelihood of playing the “big brother” to all of Africa if the scourge exacerbates. To this effect I enjoin all of us to take proactive actions to avoid infections from coronavirus.
“The preventative measures continuously advertised by the Centre for Disease Control must be adhered to. Every other matter in this country should take a backseat pending the control of the coronavirus pandemic.
He, however, said that the nation’s food system must be properly reappraised to avoid any inadequacy that could cause disaster.
He said that the people charged with the responsibility to ensure the wellbeing of the populace in the areas of health and nutrition should continue with the good work they are doing with encouragement from the President and all Nigerians.
“The President should as a matter of urgency address the Nation on all the efforts in place and the state of preparedness in case of escalation of the pandemic.
“This call is to all Nigerians and Government alike because we all have a stake in this trying time! May God guide and protect all Nigerians from the global COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.