Mr. President, your agricultural policies aren’t working

By Tajuddeen Ahmad Tijjani

 

Sir: Nigerians across the country are currently bemoaning the exorbitant cost of food on a daily basis. It’s either those with the president’s ears opted not to tell him the truth or are afraid to inform him his agricultural plans are failing the country’s teeming inhabitants.

Floods have undoubtedly destroyed unimaginable number of farmlands around the country, significantly hurting farm production across the states of the federation.

In fact, food inflation has become the norm, as most Nigerians are unable to feed their families.

The president recently blamed middlemen for taking advantage of the local rice production to exploit fellow Nigerians.

One wonders; are these middlemen ghosts or are they above the law that  they can’t be brought to book? Saboteurs should indeed face the consequences of their actions. We can’t allow unscrupulous elements to undermine our quest to attain food security. We barely grow what we consume because fertilizer isn’t only unavailable, but also prohibitively expensive for ordinary Nigerians who choose to farm. The anchor borrowers scheme has not assisted Nigerians in obtaining relief; in  fact, it may have resulted in more casualties, given that our borders are restricted, and we are not yet cultivating what is required in the country.

New policies must be implemented to ensure that ordinary Nigerians can afford to purchase agricultural commodities. However, one is pleading with the government to focus more on subsidizing agricultural implements in order to encourage people to embrace farming and find ways to bridge shortages so food can become cheap for the growing population.

A hungry man is said to be an angry man. Nigerians would sleep soundly if food is not only abundant but also affordable, and the problem of malnutrition will undoubtedly be reduced to a manageable level.

Certainly, one of the basic principles of governance is that it is required to undertake programmes that benefit citizens.

 

  • Tajuddeen Ahmad Tijjani, Azare, Bauchi State.

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