There is no doubt that our nation’s overdependence on food importation in feeding her citizens despite the availability of large cultivable expanse of fertile land spread across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, has not only punctured the genuiness of our country’s sovereignty as a truly independent state, but the situation has further put a big question mark on the claim of Nigeria being the giant of Africa. In addition, the continued importation of rice has been putting unchecked pressure on the nation’s foreign reserves, but it is high time the people faced the reality that a nation that is unable to feed her citizens is not worth existing in the first place.
At this juncture, the question we should be asking ourselves as a sovereign nation is: Don’t we have all it takes to stop the unnecessary wastage of foreign reserves on food imports in the face of the present era of economic recession in our country, and can’t we sufficiently feed ourselves without dependence on food importation? To be sincere to ourselves, we can. Nigeria, as revealed in a television programme on agriculture recently, is blessed with 98,000 hectares of cultivable fertile lands, but out of this figure, the entire cultivated land is around 30,000 hectares, leaving a balance of a whopping 68,000 hectares lying fallow.
Without mincing words, the ongoing serious attention being paid to agriculture as a means of diversification from the nation’s oil and import-dependent economy remains the panacea for the achievement of a stable and robust economy.
To this end, there is the need to salute a good number of visionary state governors who have taken the development of agriculture with seriousness, all in a bid at ensuring adequate provision of food in the country. Focusing on agriculture is the solution to our economic problems.
Mopa, Kogi State.