Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
Worried by the current economic recession in the country, vice chancellor of Al-Hikma University, Ilorin, Kwara state, Professor Taofeeq Ibrahim, has once again called on Nigerians to head back to practical agriculture so as to make the nation to be self-sufficient in food production and create employment opportunities for the teeming population.
In achieving this, he advised all levels of government to establish what he called agric mechanisation support camps in between specific areas for local farmers in order to assist them to have access to modern farm implements like clearing and grading caterpillars, planting and harvesting machines, high yield seedlings, among other technical support by agric experts.
Speaking at the 6th convocation press conference of the University, Ilorin over the weekend, Professor Ibrahim said a nation that cannot feed itself is a poor nation.
According to him, a nation that relies on importation of food items is also precarious and not secured.
He said, “More than five decades after political independence and several development plans, that Nigeria still remains a mono-cultural economy with almost total neglect of the agricultural sector is a big failure and disappointment.
“It is high time for us to change the narrative because we cannot be doing things in the same way and expect a different result.
“While the effort of the current government in the area of agriculture under President Muhammadu Buhari is commendable, the efforts need to be more pragmatic and aggressive in its approach.
“A more realistic approach therefore is for us as a nation to move beyond theories and rhetoric and adopt practical and appropriate policy response to promote agricultural development through farm mechanization.
“My recommendation to all levels of government is the establishment of agricultural mechanization support camps in between specific areas of land coverage.”