Regional migration driven by food insufficiency, says ECOWAS parliamentarian
A member of the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) Parliament, Senator Olujimi Abiodun, has attributed increased migration of youths and women within the sub-region to food insufficiency.
The Senator representing Ekiti South Senatorial District stated this while speaking at the sidelines of the Parliament’s delocalised meeting of its Joint Committee on Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources/ Infrastructure/ Energy and Mines/ Industry and Private Sector in Guinea Bissau.
She said: “If there was enough food in the sub-region, the menace of migration would be greatly addressed. West Africa must know that food sufficiency is key to whatever we are doing and forms part of the reasons why we have people migrating. When you don’t have enough to eat, your family does not have enough to eat, then there is a problem, you need to migrate. But if there is food sufficiency in West Africa, we won’t have to be a part of this great migration that we all undertake.”
The MP called on ECOWAS states to empower women and youths to be more involved in agriculture as a way of addressing food insecurity, saying that by doing so, interests in white collar jobs will be drastically reduced and unemployment addressed.
Olujimi said, “As a community, there is a need for us to do an evaluation and see how we can find ways by which we can convince our youths and women who are critical to the sustenance of the agriculture sector as well as how we can involve them in getting into agriculture and making it better than what we have right now.”
Speaking earlier during his presentation, the Guinea Bissau Director-General of Agriculture, Julho Malam Injai, who lamented the impact of importation of agricultural products on the country’s economy, called for diversification to boost crop production.
He also gave recommendations for the sub-region in general, which include; reduction of human efforts, increasing the involvement of young people to boost the sector, and others.