Mr Stephen Ozioko, a Farmer and Community Leader in Edem, Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State, has urged the Federal Government to establish farm settlements in all the local government areas in the country in order to boost food production.Ozioko said this in Nsukka on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) while reacting to the present price hike of foodstuffs in market.
He said price hike on food items is an indication that food items produced in the country are not enough to meet the demands of Nigerians.“If there is enough food production in the country, instead of price to go up in markets it will come down because majority of farmers will try to sell their farm produce to enable them to have money to buy inputs to prepare for the next farming season.“With farm settlements in all local government areas, if there is any shortage of food items in circulation government will complement it with the enough reserve in silos.“With farm settlements, government quest to achieve food security in the country will be possible,” he said.
He said in the 1960s and 1970s, the country had enough food for its citizens and even extra to export because there were many farm settlements across the country.The farmer said that farm settlements would not only boost food production but would also help to create more employments for the country.“Establishment of farm settlements across the country will provide more job opportunities for the teeming jobless youths roaming the streets searching for non-existent white collar jobs.“When jobless youths are engaged it will boost the economy as well as reduce insecurity in the country. Some youths engage in one crime or the other because they are idle.
As the saying goes, “An idle man is a devil’s workshop”, he said.Ozioko, however, attributed constant clashes between farmers and herdsmen as part of the problem that resulted in the shortage of food items across the country.“
I commend some state governors in the country that have enacted the anti-open grazing law in their states.“This law will help farmers to plant their crops without headers and their cattle destroying the crops as well as enable herders to settle down in a ranch to produce healthier cattle,” he said (NAN)