Across the federation, farmers have expressed their eagerness to tap the opportunities in the cassava and maize value chain as proposed by the All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Under the auspices of the Asiwaju Farmers Forum, the group stated this yesterday in Abuja.
The group said their resolve to tap from the abundant opportunities in staples such as cassava and maize followed Tinubu’s assurance to invest massively in the entire agriculture value chain if elected president next year.
Leader of the group and National Coordinator, Nigerian Farmers Group and Cooperative Society (NFGCS), Mr. Retson Tedheke, said there must be a different approach to tackle the economic challenge for Nigeria to work.
He said: “Our population is mostly not employable except in the art of farming. When a population is as uneducated as we are, we look for the low-hanging fruits to get us rolling and working in large numbers even with machines. Our people, particularly in rural Nigeria, need to be engaged in large numbers before they engage us violently with devastating consequences.
“Our imports must be on how to add value to what we can produce locally, it must be on extra jobs; it must be focused on nothing but managing the evolving rural Nigeria quagmire and turning what is currently becoming a curse into a blessing.
“The problem of Nigeria is Nigerians. Our failure as a country is our fault as a people. The USD is not coming down soon. Our hunger is not going away. We cannot import everything and expect our people to be free from the challenging economic mess we face.
“There are no immediate solutions outside agbada (maize) and cassava. No place will be safe if we continue to play with a hungry and angry uneducated population. Lagos is working even slowly and steadily. Nigeria will work.
“Holland makes about $ 5 billion annually from exporting flowers and $100billion annually from agriculture and agribusiness. Those who ridicule agriculture as the only foundation for national development are naive and ignorant about real national economic growth.”
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