Senator Onwe Advocates Investment in Agriculture to Address Hunger  And Unemployment


Senator Onwe Advocates Investment in Agriculture to Address Hunger  And Unemployment

… Wants farmer mainstreamed into National Economic Council

A former federal legislator from Ebonyi State, Senator Emmanuel Onwe has advocated the establishment of a food intelligence agency to help address hunger and underdevelopment in Nigeria.

The Senator who is a renowned farmer and philanthropist of note stated this while revealing the content of his open letter to the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu entitled the declaration of a state of emergency on food security and commodification of the Naira using cassava. what can I do for my country?

While speaking on the potentials inherent in the agricultural sector which he believed that if optimally utilized would definitely solve the problem of hunger, unemployment and underdevelopment in the country.

He urged the federal government to invest more in agriculture by providing loans for only genuine and experienced farmers, help address the challenges of adulterated farm inputs such as fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and seedlings and well as make more arable lands available for cultivation stressing that only 20% of 70 million arable land in the country is currently in use.

Senator Onwe noted that cassava alone as a farm produce with over 38 products has the potential to positively turn around the country’s current economic fortune by increasing export and addressing the problem of hunger if well harnessed.

Senator Onwe urged the President to among others things mainstream core farmers into his National Economic Council for closer and direction interaction.

“Nigeria has more than 70 million hectares of arable land out of which less than 20 per cent is under cultivation of any sort.

“Further, President Tinubu, you ordered that agricultural essentials such as fertilizers and other inputs be released to farmers. Well, the farming season is virtually upon us. The first rains have come.

“The pertinent question now is: who is distributing the farm inputs, where, and who are the recipients?

“Nigeria has great comparative advantage in production of cassava and currently the highest producer of the crop within the African sub-region but we needed to improve our local production to meet our local consumption as well as meet international demand.

“Cassava can be Nigeria major foreign earner if we nationally and individually focus on improving on its production through planting high-yield cassava stem, expanding its hectares and practicing good agronomy,” he said.

“The rural farmers needed encourage to do better and get more yield.

“This encourage can come in form of provision of the best quality of inputs such as herbicide,  insecticide, pesticide, fertilizers, high-yield seedlings, on the farm agronomy training and other support.”