The frontline aspirant of the All Progressives Congress in Edo state, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has called on the government to support farming and agriculture in the state as part of policy measures to prevent shortage of food and wreck of the local economy by the implemented restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19.
In a statement released by his Campaign Organization, Pastor Ize-Iyamu emphasized the need to look inwards for pragmatic solutions that reflect the realities of the state, and the importance of protecting the agriculture sector by ensuring the security of rural farmers and committing funds and other investments into helping them improve farm yields, storage and sale of produce.
He said: “Farming is not a short term venture; so how do our people combat hunger during these period of lockdown. Most of our farmers are in the rural areas and are not directly affected by the restrictions in the urban areas. What has hindered our farmers is the menace of herdsmen and Boko Haram activites in the north where most of our food come from.
“In the interim, government and public spirited persons must be encouraged to give palliatives to those in dire need to avoid violence and looting occasioned by hunger virus.”
“Government must encourage farmers to grow more by buying their products and supporting them. I have always advised on the need to set up a food bank for now and the future. People should be encouraged to farm but it is not an easy ride and requires well thought out policies and incentives involving availability of arable land, seedlings and support capital. The present situation is volatile and requires short, medium and long term solutions. For now we must support our people with food and then teach them on how to farm.”