Farmers in 36 states, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have expressed their willingness to capitalize on the cassava and maize value chain opportunities proposed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
The group stated that their determination to capitalize on the abundant opportunities in staples such as cassava and maize stemmed from Tinubu’s promise to invest massively in the entire agriculture value chain if elected president next year.
Mr. Retson Tedheke, leader of the group and National Coordinator of the Nigerian Farmers Group and Cooperative Society (NFGCS), stated that for Nigeria to function, a different approach to addressing the economic challenge is required.
Tedheke stated that localisation, industrialisation, and a sustainable economic strategy will be essential.
He emphasized the importance of productivity, processing, warehousing, rural stability, and vocation manpower development for maize, cassava, yam, soy beans, palm trees, sesame, date palm, coconut, cattle, goats, sheep, fish, and pigs, among other crops.
“Our population is mostly unemployed except in agriculture,” he said. When you have a population that is as uneducated as ours, you look for the low hanging fruit to get you rolling and working in large numbers, even with machines. Our people, particularly in rural Nigeria, must be engaged in large numbers before engaging us violently, with disastrous consequences.
“Our imports must focus on how to add value to what we can produce locally, on extra jobs, and on nothing but managing the evolving rural Nigeria quagmire and turning what is currently becoming a curse into a blessing.”
“Nigerians are Nigeria’s problem.” It is our fault as a people that we have failed as a country. The USD is not going anywhere anytime soon. Our hunger will not go away. We cannot import everything and expect our people to be free of the difficult economic situation we are in.
“Aside from agbado (maize) and cassava, there are no immediate solutions.” If we continue to play with a hungry and angry uneducated population, no place will be safe. Lagos is moving forward, albeit slowly and steadily. Nigeria will succeed.
“Holland earns about $5 billion per year from flower exports and $100 billion per year from agriculture and agribusiness.” Those who dismiss agriculture as the sole source of national development are naive and ignorant of true national economic growth.”