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Food security: Southwest, DAWN Commission harp on security for farmers

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The Director General of DAWN Commission, Mr.<br />Seye Oyeleye attending an emergency virtual meeting of Southwest Agric Commissioners and Southwest Agricultural Company, on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. PHOTO: TWITTER/ DAWN COMMISSION

As DAWN Commission convenes session to ensure food security in region

The Southwest states and Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission on Tuesday said securing the farmlands in the region is imperative to avert food insecurity.

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They stated this at a virtual interactive session facilitated DAWN Commission among the Commissioners and Special Advisers for Agriculture across the Southwest States on the issue of food security in the Region.

The meeting afforded the policymakers the opportunity to brainstorm on the issue of food security in the Region.

Present at the virtual session were Commissioners of Agriculture for Ekiti and Osun States, Mr. Adedayo Adewole and Mr. Olabode Adetoyi, Special Advisers to Ondo and Oyo States’ Governors, Prince Akinola Olotu and Dr. Debo Akande, Mr. Jide Arowosafe and Mr. Gbenga Osobu of Southwest Agricultural Company (SWAgCO), among other stakeholders.

According to the 10-point communique made available to The Guardian by DAWN Commission, the stakeholders and participants in the meeting highlighted insecurity as the foremost challenge confronting agricultural productivity in the region.

They lamented that many farmers have left their farms due to frequent attacks by the marauding herders and kidnappers.

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According to them, “It is therefore submitted that securing the farmlands becomes pertinent if we want to get farmers back to farms and thereby increase agricultural production in the region.”

They noted with concern seeming threats to food supply chain, however, assured the people in the region that adequate measures are being taken to ensure that the people are not adversely affected in the medium to long term.

It was resolved that states would strengthen Amotekun corps in order to tackle insecurity in the region, adding that farmers and produce sellers must be allowed to carry out their trade within the ambit of the law and without any encumbrance and anyone attempting to disrupt such must be decisively dealt with.

The communique reads :”The following resolutions were agreed:
1. The states have agreed to strengthen the Amotekun Corps in order to confront the renewed onslaught on our farmers working in junction with the existing security agencies.

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“2. The meeting also agreed to call on the security agencies to ensure that they do not relent in their efforts in apprehending the criminal elements responsible for the incessant attacks and economic sabotage of the region’s agricultural economy.

“3. Farmers lives matter, the meeting agreed that everything must be done to ensure that our farmers are safe and can return to the farms.

“4. That farmers and produce sellers must be allowed to carry out their trade within the ambit of the law and without any encumbrance and anyone attempting to disrupt such must be decisively dealt with.

“5. The states are fully aware of their responsibilities in ensuring that their people have access to food in abundance and will continue to provide the enabling environment for such to be available in abundance.

“6. That the states have noted with concern seeming threats to food supply chain but will like to assure the people in the Region that adequate measures are being taken to ensure that the people are not adversely affected in the medium to long term.

“7. The states have agreed to work assiduously together in order to simplify access to land in the Region for would-be investors in Agriculture .

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The states are working hard at putting some critical dams in the region into active use to move our agriculture away from rain dependent to water dependent, within the next three weeks we should be seeing action in some of the states on this.

“9. DAWN Commission to work with other stakeholders to ensure increased production in agricultural produce that the Region has comparative advantage.

“10.The States agreed to continue to share ideas on how to attract more youth into Agriculture by coping models that has worked in some sister states within the
region”.

DAWN Commission was mandated to convey the resolutions at the meeting to the Governors’ Forum for critical next steps.

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