On Sunday, March 15th, 2021, Funmi Iyanda talked about the need for economic diversification in Nigeria and the opportunities and challenges faced by farmers in the country with Grow Food Security Advocacy Project Lead and Communication Expert, Saratu Abiola, CEO of Tomato Jos, Mira Mehta, and Nigeria Rice Farmer, Mr Rotimi Williams.
The oil glut in the international market in the past few years has led to the collapse of crude oil prices in the international market, thus plunging the economy into recession. We have held conversations and debates to determine the role agriculture will play in the country’s economic prosperity, Public Eye joins the debate by narrating the opportunities and challenges of agriculture through the lens of farmers in Nigeria.
‘I work this farm with my capital, I will appreciate any form of assistance from the government,‘ Chief Imam, a local cassava farmer in the suburb of Lagos pleads. Chief Imam stressed the challenges of transportation, capital, and labour as a hindrance to his productivity. Speaking of the government’s role, Saratu Abiola stressed the importance of improved governance in agriculture.
“When we have improved governance, we can meet people at the point of their needs, the needs of a farmer with 10 hectares differs from one with two hectares”
The challenges faced by Mira Mehta and Rotimi Williams who are large capital farmers in Northern Nigeria differ greatly from Chief Imam, “I pop headache pills after my return from the tour of my farm due to security tension”, Rotimi Williams narrates. Rotimi Williams’ farm has been plagued with clashes and invasions from criminal elements, thus leading to low productivity.
Mira Mehta on how she copes narrated that “when outsiders are spotted, the community informs our company that they heard about something on the side of the road, it is that intel that determines whether we are calling the government or the local LGAS”
The full episode is available on Public Eye’s YouTube Channel:
Public Eye airs every Sunday at 5 pm on TVC News. You can catch them on any of these television channels: DSTV (channel 418), Startimes (channel 307), GOTV (channel 45), or channel 572 on Sky.
Public Eye is supported by the MacArthur Foundation.