A programme manager with the Abia State Agricultural Development Programme (ADP), Chief Israel Amanze, has warned that food insufficiency may continue to linger in the country until stakeholders in the agriculture sector address the underlining challenges.
Amanze stated this in an exclusive interview with LEADERSHIP in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, saying the challenges include insecurity, post-harvest management, lack of storage facilities, infrastructure decay, transportation, and farming methods, among others.
He said the farmers equally need to engage in use of improved seeds, stems, modern inputs and implements as well as factor-in the services of agriculture research institutes and extension services by similar organisations.
“On our part, we have been doing enough to provide farmers in the state all the services and advice they require to succeed and the results have been both rewarding and encouraging,” Amanze said.
The agriculturalist argued that one of the means of bridging the food insufficiency gap was through all-season planting of cassava, which he said has long been proved achievable in the country, adding that with the availability of improved stem, the realising objective will be easy.
He maintained that as far as he was concerned, the agriculture sector remains the largest creator of employment in the country especially for the youths “if only government at all levels provide all that are required to make it more vibrant.”
The ADP programme manager, who appealed to the youths to take up agriculture as business “because of its wild scope,” added that with the many interventions by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the sector is now more profitable than before.