Hunger: APC diaspora chieftain tasks S/West governors on investments in farming

A former Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in South Africa, Mr Bola Babarinde, says South-West governors must engage in strategic investments, leveraging technology and ensure coordinated effort among stakeholders to enhance food security.

Babarinde, also the Deputy Director of the Sanwo-Olu/Hamzat Campaign Council, Diaspora Directorate in 2023 governorship election, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Lagos.

Calling for action among governors in the region, Babarinde said that achieving food security in the South-West should be paramount among leaders in the region.

“The South-West region of Nigeria has become excessively dependent on other zones for its food supply, a situation that demands urgent attention and strategic intervention.

“With vast arable lands and a favourable climate, the region has the potential to not only achieve self-sufficiency but also become a significant player in agricultural exports.

“Drawing inspiration from countries like Israel and the Netherlands, which have leveraged technology to maximize yields from limited arable lands, the South-West can employ modern farming techniques to enhance productivity.

“By adopting advanced agricultural technologies, the region can improve the quality and quantity of its produce, ensuring food security and generating foreign exchange through exports,” he said.

The APC chieftain noted that despite the potential, the focus of South-West governors remained fixated on federal allocations.

According to him, this oversight neglects the substantial revenue that could be generated internally from the agricultural sector.

He said that historically, the Western region thrived on agro-exports, particularly cash crops.

“Today, however, it (South-West) struggles to meet basic food production needs, a situation that poses an existential threat to regional security.

“To address this crisis, the Dawn Commission and the six South-West states, under the leadership of Governor BabajideSanwo-Olu must urgently formulate and implement a comprehensive agricultural development plan.

“This plan should leverage Lagos’s financial capabilities and the abundant arable lands in neighbouring states.

“Massive investment in agriculture can meet the growing food demand in urban centers, particularly Lagos, creating jobs and stimulating economic growth,”Babarinde said.

He added that the Western region once boasted numerous ranching and dairy production settlements.

According to him, reviving these practices can tap into the vast market for food products, ensuring a steady supply to the urban populace.

Babarinde noted that despite the availability of land and labour, achieving self-sufficiency in food production remained elusive.

He linked this to a significant lapse in governance and resource management.

He said that by prioritising agriculture, the region could ensure its food security, generate significant revenue and create a sustainable economic future.

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