By Hammed Shittu
The Executive Director, Agricultural and Rural Management Institute (ARMTI) Ilorin, Dr. Olufemi Oladunni has called on all Nigerians to be involved in agricultural production so as to reduce high prices of foodstuffs in the country.
Oladunni pointed out that if 30 per cent of Nigerians are participating in farming activities, there would be a drastic reduction in the foodstuffs prices and also ensure food security.
Speaking in Ilorin at the one-day workshop for the members of the Correspondents Chapel of the Kwara State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to mark the annual Press Week of the Chapel, Oladunni said that, the prices of foodstuffs is based on demand and supply, “if all of us either journalists and civil servants and other stakeholders are involved in the farming activities, the propensity for the high supply of foods will be increased and it will fall the prices of foods.”
The programme, which was part of annual Press Week celebration of the chapel of the NUJ, was aimed at training journalists on sustainable agribusiness during and after service.
He explained that, “the inability of Nigerians to rise to food production has forced the prices of available foods in the market to be increased and thereby affecting the socio economic lives of the populace.”
Oladunni, said agriculture is no longer a hobby but a real business that could take the nation into a greater scale of development and growth.
The ARMTI boss, who said that prevalent high price of food items in the country could be favourably addressed when every family produces 30 per cent of what is produced, said that every professional should engage in agribusiness.
“If you don’t go to market for some certain food items, the prices would go down. That’s what agriculture does for you and me. Civil servants, journalists and every other professionals should combine agribusiness with what they do.
“We should not even give excuse of not having land to cultivate farming nowadays as soiless cultivation can be done. I can only charge the government to ensure that it lowers cost of inputs like fertilizers and ensure quality of agric inputs like seeds”, he said.
Oladunni , who said that crime-free society is not achievable, added that Nigeria can achieve reduction in crime, especially, among youths when they are engaged in agricultural production and agribusiness.
On the problem of insecurity, Oladunni advised government across board to engage the restive youths in productive ventures such as agriculture and agribusinesses.
ARMTI, he said, has been engaging in the training of youths in various areas of agribusiness to make them not only self- employed but employers of labour.
Oladunni added that at the end of the training programmes, ARMTI also provided starters packs valued at N200,000 to each of the beneficiaries to enable them start their own businesses.