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Friday, 5 February 2016

Nigerians will Starve to Death in 2050 - Presidency

Nigerians will starve to death by 2050 if nothing is done to ensure an all year round farming, the Nigerian presidency has revealed.
Chief Audu Ogbeh has raised an alarm over the state of Agriculture in Nigeria.
According to Vanguard, the presidency made this known on Thursday, February 4, 2016 because with the rate at which the country is growing, population is expected to rise to about 509 million by 2050 and the present mode of farming will not sustain the increase.
Nigeria’s minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, who spoke during his defence of the 2016 budget on Thursday, noted that there is urgent need for all major stakeholders to work towards improving mechanized farming and irrigation, to ensure an all year farming to avert the problem.
He further averred that the country has the capacity to grow the grass required by the cattle to consume.
“We have written to state governments to encourage them to develop dams and canals so that agriculture becomes an all year round activity and it is not confined to the rainy season alone.
“Besides, by 2050, Nigeria population will be very close to 500 million at the current rate of growth. This is just 34 years from now. If we carry on at the current rate of one crop per year, with very low mechanization, Nigerians run the risk of starving to death.
“We intend to intensify and consolidate on the local staples, the yams, the cassava, the beans, especially rice and wheat. Both of which consume $11 million per day in import. The figure is going down a bit. We can’t afford that in the long run because we don’t even have the resources.
“The ministry has put necessary machinery in motion to stop the constant bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers. We have decided we are going to develop massive paddocks across the country.
“What the cows are looking for is grass and water. We have the capacity to grow the grass we want not just any kind of grass but highly nutritive grass for the cows to eat. If it can be done in Kenya, Saudi Arabia, there is no reason why we can’t do it here.
“There is sizable provision for grassing at hinterland, by developing water, drilling of boreholes and small dams to irrigate those areas already mapped out. In the process we hope that the cattle herdsmen would have a more stable life,” the Benue chief informed.
Recently, Chief Ogbeh lauded the immediate past administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan for its achievements in agriculture.
He was however quick to decry the state of corruption in the agriculture sector under the past administration, stating that it was rampant.



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