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More Nigerians may go hungry as food crisis looms, says Ogbeh




The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, has raised the alarm that the prices of food items may increase further and more Nigerians may go hungry due to the destruction of farm produce by quelea birds and locusts from Niger Republic.

Ogbeh said the pests had started attacking farms in some local councils in Kebbi, Zamfara, Sokoto, Jigawa, Abia, Kano, Borno, Yobe, Benue, Gombe, Adamawa and Katsina states.

During an emergency meeting with agriculture commissioners from the states affected on Monday in Abuja, Ogbeh expressed fear that with the current high prices of food and now the reported attacks on farmlands by locusts and quelea birds, the scarcity of food may worsen in the country.

According to the minister, the masses are already talking on radio and television that they are hungry and angry.

“The rate of poverty has tripled around 50 per cent as we all know from the text messages we receive everyday for financial support and the account numbers we get on our phones. You see widows with four or five children complaining that they have not eaten for days, because right now urban poverty is worse than rural poverty.

“Please Nigerians it is time to look for a better alternative and that is why we launched the Green Alternative. We were there before we walked away, now is the time to come back to it,” he stated.

The agric minister said: “We know how dangerous quelea birds and locusts are. If they arrive, within hours and days they would ‎ wipe out everything the farmers have planted.

“We already have a maize crisis. We may have food problems if these pests attacked further. We cannot afford this.”

Ogbeh added: “You can imagine if the rice, maize, sorghum, millet farms are destroyed by these pests, this country would be in terrible food crisis.”

He disclosed that the Federal Government would partner the government of Niger Republic to get an aircraft, which would be deployed to fumigate farmlands in the states bordering the two countries.

In this article:
Audu OgbehQuelea birds
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  • Abidilagungun

    And Bayo Onanuga said the reports of inflation and hunger are not real. Ogbeh, please educate the NAN MD so that he does not misinform

    • Truetalk

      Green alternative, simple.

  • Adesola Olusegun Adeniyi

    This is one of the reason why this administration is getting all the flack it’s been getting. The invasion of quelea birds and locusts is not new though unwanted but rather than provide words of encouragement, the minister seems to have opened a book of lamentation on the issue.There is nothing to show that he has concrete plans and even if he does,he is not confident in his plans himself.
    If those who are supposed to provide solutions to the nation’s myriad problems throws up their arms in confusion how do they expect the citizens to have confidence in them much less trust them???
    Its high time this government sits up and start governing rather than moaning as Nigerians are tired of their lame excuses.

    • Primo Compatriot

      “book of lamentation” … Please I have to borrow this soon.

      It’s only in this country that excuses have excuses. No plans for predictable occurrences neither are there any for contingencies

  • Tosin Otitoju

    What happened to the schoolfeeding programme? As per the campaign in 2015? At least let’s feed the children even if the adults have to die 🙂

  • O F

    What of the killings of farmers and possession of their farmlands all over the middle belt by the Fulani Herdsmen?
    Won’t that contribute to more hunger?

  • Basil Ogbanufe

    ““The rate of poverty has tripled…….””. What is the way forward? Can someone give practical solutions.

    • Truetalk

      Go back to your village and start farming or didn’t you hear of the Green alternative?

      • Basil Ogbanufe

        Have you gone to your village to start farming since you heard of the Green alternative? Please enlighten us how far so we can follow in your footsteps.

  • Cheta God

    The govt has no plans for anything. Thank God he did not say that it is GEJ causing the birds to invade the farms. And the lamentation continues.
    God please save Nigeria from incompetence.

  • apinofiga

    When I saw the news report,I thought the newspaper made an error in its caption.When I now read it I saw it is true – A Minister of Agriculture saying this.He should resign.What he said is a sign of helplessness and evidence that he is bereft of any idea.This country self.Na wa o.Mr Audu is fanstastically bereft of any idea.Period