‘Nigerians run the risk of starving to death by 2050’ – FG

The Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, said on Thursday that if all-year farming is not introduced, Nigerians would starve to death by 2050.

The federal government said the country’s population would rise to 509 million by 2050, and the present mode of farming would not be sustainable.

During the defence of the 2016 budget on Thursday, Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, called on all major stakeholders to work towards improving mechanized farming and irrigation.

“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.”

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