By Ikechukwu Odu — NSUKKA
The National President of the Association of United Farm Products, Traders and Livestock Dealers of Nigeria, Stephen Akombo, weekend, attributed the shortage of food production in the country to attacks on farmers across the nation by bandits and herdsmen.
Akombo warned that the nation would be plunged into acute famine if the Federal Government and other tiers of government failed to guarantee the safety of farmers in the country.
He also said that the association is consulting with governments on solutions to the menace.
He made the disclosure at Imilike, Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State, during the investiture of National Matron on Mrs. Zainab Mohammed, urging the members of the association to continue praying for an end to the situation.
He also said: “Farmers are afraid of going to their farms due to incessant attacks on them. Nobody wants to die. Because of that, there has been a gross shortage of food production.
“Governments at various levels need to do more to guarantee the safety of farmers. It is very unfortunate that the insecurity in the country has degenerated into attacks on farmers.
“Without security for farmers, the nation would run into a shortage of foods which would not be good for us.”
While describing the investiture of Mrs. Mohammed, who is also the President of Women Chamber of Commerce, Agriculture, Mines and Industry, as a square peg in a square hole, the National Patron, Chief James Ugwu, said her antecedents as a humanitarian aid worker and philanthropist would reposition the farmers association for more impactful exploits.
“The importance of Matron in this association cannot be overemphasised owing to the fact that about 65% of our members are women.
“I wish to inform you that the association is well-positioned at the most critical area of Nigeria today’s need which is food sufficiency to feed her over 200 million Nigerians,” Chief Ugwu also informed the Matron.
While bemoaning the insecurity of farmers in the country, Mrs. Mohammed said her investiture was a call to duty which she would take seriously.
She also said that the association would be working with community leaders and gatekeepers to ensure adequate security of farmers across the nation.
She said: “The work of securing the farmers and the nation at large demands a collective effort and all of us must join hands in community policing by identifying strangers in our midst.
“It is very unfortunate that farmers who are going about their legitimate tasks of feeding the nation are being killed in most gruesome manners.
“Farmers feed the nation. We would work to ensure that they get enabling environment to work by giving them the necessary assistance and supports from the Ministry of Agriculture, the Federal Government and the world over.”
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