Hunger major cause of insecurity, says Afe Babalola
• Gives N34 million cash awards to 81 Ekiti State farmers
• Why the state gave free lands as incentives to investor-farmers, by Fayemi
The Founder of Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Aare Afe Babalola (SAN), yesterday, said that hunger was the major cause of insecurity in the country, saying that an angry person is bound to be angry and therefore violent.
This was as he gave out N34 million cash awards to 81 farmers drawn from the 16 local councils of the state.
The legal icon, who spoke at the opening ceremony of the yearly Afe Babalola Agric Expo, code-named ‘ABA-EX,’ held at the ABUAD campus, said that the major problem confronting the country is poverty.
“When we were young, there was no hunger because we were all farmers. There is a popular adage that when you take hunger away from a man, then you have lessened his poverty.
“We must return to the farm so that we can feed ourselves and guarantee food security. There is no gainsaying that farming is very important, starting from gardens in our homes,” he said.
In his welcome address, Chairman, Local Organising Committee, Prof. Abiodun Ojo, said it was the seventh edition of the agric expo, adding that N150 million had been expended so far.
“This is the seventh ABA-EX that we are hosting and we have spent about N150 million. The N150 million is for seven years. Last year, we spent N32 million and this year, we are spending N34 million.
Meanwhile, Governor Kayode Fayemi, who was represented at the event by the Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Dr. Olabode Olatoyi, said that the state government gave free lands as incentives to investor-farmers coming to invest in Ekiti.
He said: “We have spent billions of naira on our farmers in the last four years and that is why you see that our farmsteads are active now. As incentives for farmers coming to Ekiti, the government will provide land for you and some are even cleared.
“All these we are using to encourage farmers to grow more crops in the state. That is why you see farmers all over our farm settlements across the state and that is why we are supporting ABUAD for food security so that we have enough food in Ekiti State.”
The keynote speaker, Prof. Olugbenga Aribisala, urged the state government to, as a matter of urgency, resolve the insecurity problem that is affecting farmers.
He urged individuals to venture into gardening using available land in their houses rather than concreting, which causes flooding.
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