Don Seeks Return Of Agric Commodity Boards To Boost Revenue

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Prof. Uchechi Ogbuagu of Department of Economics, University of Calabar, on Monday called for the reintroduction of the Agriculture Commodity Boards.

He said this was necessary if the nation must increase its revenue from the agricultural sector.

Ogbuagu made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar.

According to him, having boards for commodities such as oil palm, cotton, cocoa, groundnut and some other produces where Nigeria has comparative advantage will help to develop the value chains of these commodities and increase the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

He said it was sad that the nation was still importing tomato pastes and even orange juice, when it had the primary produces in abundance.

The don noted that the country lacked storage and processing abilities, resulting to post-harvest losses.

“Today, tomato pastes are very expensive in the markets, but think of how tomatoes are being wasted in the country, yet, we cannot produce pastes.”

“The same is happening with oranges in Benue; so much wastages. We brought ourselves to the present situation we are in now by killing our commodity boards that would have enhanced the processing and marketing of these products”, he said.

Ogbuagu said the country must return to its foundries in its academic institutions for the production of improved farm tools which would make cultivation easier.

He said that the nation’s engineers could produce the needed tools, adding that Nigeria must stop relying on other countries “because they are competitors, not friends”.

Ogbuagu, however, appealed to the Federal Government to ensure food sufficiency in the country through mechanization and encouraging medium-scale farmers to produce for both export and the local market.

“One must commend the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for helping cassava farmers to cultivate more with the aim of converting harvested cassava to ethanol”, he said. 



Source: Daily Independent

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