Posted by News Express | 20 May 2021 | 645 times
Farmers in Sabagreia Community in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa on Tuesday called on government and interventionist agencies to assist in the acquisition of lands for farming to boost food production.
The farmers who identified access to land as a major obstacle made the call in a one day food systems dialogue held in the community.
The discourse was facilitated by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) programme aimed at achieving food security.
Participants included serving Councillor representing Ward 9 in the area, Mr Wueba Ayakumo, Deputy Chief of the Community, Chief Amaebi Ayawari, Youth Leader, Mr Ugo Funebi, among a cross section of leaders from the area.
The community also called on all households in rural communities including public servants and private sector wage earners to engage in farming and other food systems components for which they have comparative advantage to undertake.
The forum was organised by the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise in Niger Delta, LIFE-ND, a non-governmental organisation implementing the FGN, NDDC, IFAD project aimed at addressing food shortage in Nigeria.
Dr Panebi Ugo, Bayelsa Coordinator of LIFE-ND, said the goal of rural food systems dialogue is to engage grassroots stakeholders taking an aggressive approach to solving global hunger.
According to him, the discourse will also address the disrupted value chain globally as a result of COVID-19 pandemic and Climate Change as well as other unexpected challenges that could disrupt the food supply value chain.
“The food systems dialogue is required to improve nutrition security, reduce hunger and prevalence of malnutrition in line with the national food and nutrition policy for Nigeria.
“It will also create more inclusive, healthier food systems, encourage collaborative approach towards building sustainable food systems and enhance the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” Ugo said.
In a communique issued at the end of the meeting, the farmers called for the strengthening of public agriculture extension services to provide technical advice to promote good agricultural practices in the communities.
The agric extension services will make for availability of food and introduction of new crops that suit the soil type of the community and livestock.
“Effective information sharing and dissemination on existing markets for farm inputs as well as related agricultural products and services will ensure all year farm production and reduce hunger and improve affordability of nutritious food.
“To ensure the availability and affordability of nutritious foods, all farmers should engage in mixed crop farming and diversity of livestock rearing.
“To ensure increased affordability and availability of nutritious and safe foods, farmers and other stakeholders should avoid sharp practices, use of harmful chemicals and adopt good agricultural practices.
“Government to facilitate the establishment of public-private managed food banks, storage facilities to store harvested surplus agricultural produce harvested in the community, this will reduce food inflation in the rural areas as currently experienced in the community.
“In view of the frequent flooding experienced by the community, climate smart agriculture technologies promotion, shorelines protection as well as dredging of the rivers would assist in mitigating the effects of climate change on food production,” the communique read in part.
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