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Adetoyi Olabode calls for special land clearing programme to boost Nigerian agriculture, reduce insecurity

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Chief Executive Officer of Value Nutrients Ingredients Limited, Dr. Adetoyi Ezekiel Olabode has called on the federal government to implement a special programme for land clearing.

Olabode made the call at ThePressNG’ June 2024 Industry Outlook Webinar tagged: ‘From Farm to Market; The rising cost of Farm Produce in Nigeria; Causes, Impact and Solutions’

He emphasized the importance of collaboration between state governors and the federal Ministry of Agriculture to achieve effective land utilization.

Olabode also highlighted the need to engage youth in agriculture by providing proper training and equipment.

He noted that providing stipends until the harvest is ready is essential adding that Cassava matures in 8 to 11 months, cocoa in 2.5 to 3 years, and oil palm similarly.

On the livestock front, Olabode pointed out that Lagos consumes 13,000 cows per day, each costing around N600,000.

Addressing these agricultural challenges, according to Olabode, will alleviate social issues and create jobs.

Olabode noted that Nigeria has over 35 million hectares of arid wood crops.

He said that with 36 states plus Abuja and 774 local governments, there is a vast potential to utilize these resources effectively.

Olabode argued that agriculture should be prioritized alongside security in Nigeria.

Pointing out historical agricultural strengths, he noted that in some Southwestern states, the old Western region thrived on cocoa and oil palm. He added that the Midwest region focused on rubber and oil palm while the North have ginger and groundnut.

He noted that the government at all levels need to encourage higher yields, mobilize financing for better yields, and open up more land for cultivation.

According to him, there’s no reason why a youth should have to struggle to open up one hectare of land.

He called for increased investment in processing to reduce the high post-harvest losses which according to him currently exceeding 45%.

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