Mr Arinze Awogu, Transition Chairman of Ogbaru Local Government Area has urged governments to buy and store produce being harvested by farmers in the area to avert waste and hunger.
Awogu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka that Ogbaru, an agrarian council area had started harvesting some produce but Coronavirus lockdown impact made it nearly impossible for them to sell their output.
He expressed worry that just as the people of Ogbaru were recovering from recent flooding, they were currently faced with possible glut and loss of economic gains from their labour.
The council had been proposing the building of farm produce storage facility to enable them preserve perishable produce or for state government to act as an off-taker and buy these produce for future purposes.
“In Ogbaru, we have two farming seasons and we have started harvesting some produce now, but the challenge is that our people cannot move these produce to the markets and as such cannot sell.
“We were badly hit by the last flood and as resilient people, we went back to farm in spite of the challenges but our worry is that the produce of farmers are going to rot due to absence of market occasioned by the effect of COVID-19 on the economy.
“We have proposed that government should buy these produce as an off-taker and store them in the food bank, in the future they can draw from there when there is shortage.
”This will be a win-win solution to farmers and government,” he said.
Awogu said what the people needed as palliative now were cash and farm inputs as the area have enough food to sustain it.
On the congestion of morgues in some areas of Anambra, Awogu said there was no such challenge in Ogbaru as people who died in recent time were buried without the usual elaborate funerals.
He noted that unlike before the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic, average number of death in Ogbaru had reduced. (NAN)