By Akeeb Alarape, Osogbo
The Deputy Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Mr Lasun Yussuf has canvassed for massive mobilisation of Nigerian youths to embrace agriculture, to boost employment generation and food production.
Yussuf, who represents Osogbo/Olorunda/Orolu/Irepodun Federal Constituency, made the call during the presentation of three tractors to farmers in Osogbo.
He said agriculture remain the most viable alternative in the diversification drive of the Federal Government and called for more participation of Nigerians.
The deputy speaker, however, said government should provide adequate subsidy for agricultural inputs, a reliable market and storage system to ensure food security and sustainability.
“Government should design a buffer system, where farm produce would be bought directly from farmers during bumper harvest to prevent glut in the market which ordinarily drags price down and discourage farmers in no small way.
“It is also paramount to bring back the Marketing Board System into the sector, to ease the stress of farmers in getting market for their produce; this has been a general practice in many countries of the world.
“Sincerely, fuel price subsidy is a misplaced priority; agricultural inputs should be prioritised for subsidy consideration to support more participation in farming and save the country billions of dollars spent on the importation of food.
“Developed countries like America and UK became economic giants and self-reliant through laudable agricultural policies that encourage more participation in agricultural activities.
“Generations after generations in these countries stay in farming irrespective of their educational qualifications, and social status, the system dignify farming as a profession, for them to still come back to farm despite their exposure,’’ Yussuf said.
He said that the tractors, worth N60 million, were donated to the farmers, as part of his support to boost agriculture in the area.
Yussuf said that Nigeria was blessed with many natural resources, which could facilitate economic advancement and breakthrough in technology, stating that his gesture was borne out of his experience as a farmer.
He urged Nigerians, regardless of their educational background and political status to embrace farming as a means of economic survival, saying “any country that could not feed itself has not done well in terms of poverty alleviation.’’
Accepting the tractors on behalf of the farmers, Mr Kayode Afolabi, state president of All Farmers Association of Nigeria, thanked the lawmaker for his gesture, describing it as timely.
Afolabi said that the gesture would spur farmers and encourage other to join the business for sustainable agricultural production.
Reps Deputy Speaker donates tractors to farmers in Osun
By Akeeb Alarape, Osogbo