The Programme Manager of the Abia State Agricultural Development Programme (ADP), Chief Israel Amanze, has predicted a possible food shortage next season if farmers are not encouraged to plant during COVID-19 pandemic that coincides with the planting season.
He told The Guardian that authorities should not stop farmers, especially the animal caregivers engaged in poultry and piggery, from going to attend to their animals during the lockdown.
Preventing farmers from going to farms and planting during the lockdown could be catastrophic, as this could lead to famine as a result of underproduction of food.
Stressing the need for such farmers to be classed among those on essential services, the ADP manager said that in the case of poultry, lack of water and feeds for a day could decline production of laying birds for one month, while pigs might start cannibalism.
“If we neglect our poultry for only one day, the result will be catastrophic to both the poultry farmer and the population that depends on them and cause future poor harvest and food availability,” he said.