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… Agronomist alerts Nigerians to looming hunger, advocates actions

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An agronomist has warned the government to prepare against impending food scarcity and its attendant effects.  Mr Azeez Oluwole, a retiree from the Nigerian Navy, gave the warning during an interview with The Guardian in Ibadan, Oyo State recently. 

The founder of Farmkonnect Nigeria also stressed the need for Nigeria to look at the direction of agricultural real estates, saying the novel concept would generate more revenue for the country than crude oil. 

According to the entrepreneur with 20 years of experience in farming, agricultural real estate would earn the country far more than oil and would enhance education and job creation.

“The majority of food crops are planted by smallholder farmers. If you want to approach the ministry that is not working to get a pass for farmers, how do you have access to that commissioner or a director?  So, a lot of these farmers are locked up in the house because of this coronavirus. Except the ones who are in villages.

“Some of the people like the police, out of ignorance, worsened the case.  Immigration officers even beat my staff. People don’t understand that gun and food are not mates. It is only an idiot that will think that when you hold a gun, you’re superior to a person that holds a hoe.  

“So, when we cultivated about 153 hectares in Ede, we didn’t have smallholder farmers we could use. We had to suspend it.  When borders opened, we went in full force and started clearing. Now, what we don’t know is this, the food we are eating in 2020 is the food we harvest in 2019. In 2021, hunger is looming.”

On Farmkonnect, he said: “There is no form of partnership. However, the State of Osun has given us tremendous support. I want to thank the Commissioner for Agriculture in the state, the Special Adviser to the Governor, the Commissioner for Commerce. But I want to give back to Oyo State. If the state is giving a listening ear, I’m willing to do something monumental.” 


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