By Marcus Ikechukwu
Kabir Ibrahim, the National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), says insecurity across many parts of Nigeria is responsible for the ongoing food crisis in the country,
Ibrahim said the development poses the greatest threat to the attainment of food security in the country, unless an urgent intervention is taken to mitigate the problem.
According to a statement he issued in Abuja on Wednesday, the AFAN President explained that in some parts of the North, especially, the Northwest and North-central where most of the agricultural production takes place, farmers do not readily have access to their farm due to banditry and kidnappings.
This unwholesome situation, he said, has resulted in the reduction of sustainable food sufficiency, thereby impeding the attainment of food security in spite of the several intervention programmes made by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Anchor Borrowers Programme, National Agricultural Land Development Authority’s integrated farm settlements, and the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and several other programmes by the Buhari administration.
“It has been nearly 15 years since Boko Haram began rearing its head in the North East first as a religious movement and later snowballed into a full scale pressure group against the entire establishment,” he said.
“A lot of effort, mainly through kinetic means, has been deployed to stem it, albeit, with marginal success.”
“Agriculture essentially takes place in the States and is on the concurrent list with the Federal Government spearheading the creation of an enabling environment through giving policy direction and encouraging stakeholders’ buy-in.”
“With these realities, it is very clear that the States have a very important role in bringing about food security to Nigeria but only if the security of life and property is guaranteed or assured.”
“Of course, the States are not directly in charge of National Security and the direct management of the security apparatus comprising the Police, Army and Civil Defence as well as several other institutions but the State Governors of the various States are the Chief Security Officers in their various States, so, if they jointly and collectively pursue the issue of insecurity more impact will be made,” he stated.
He called on both Northern and Southern regions to give priority attention to the restoration of peace in the country to achieve food security.
“While the call I am making is to the state Governments of the North, it is imperative that the various state governments of Southern Nigeria also key into the drive for the restoration of security in order to ensure the attainment of sustainable National Food Security in Nigeria,” he said.