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Open grazing threatening food security, says Imasogie

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Open grazing is a big threat to food security in the country, says former chairman, Board of Directors, Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria (CRIN), Ibadan, Dickson Imasogie.

While speaking to our reporter yesterday, he decried the activities of killer herdsmen who graze on farms across the country.

Describing as unbearable the activities of the herdsmen in farms, Imasogie called for stoppage of the trend, which might scare crop farmers from their farms.

If farmers stop going to their farms, he added, food scarcity looms in the country.He appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to caution the herdsmen by making a bold statement that would regulate their activities on farms, noting the atrocities being committed daily by the herdsmen.

“It is real that these herdsmen are doing what they are not supposed to do. In 2017, during the Nigeria Union of journalists (NUJ) forum in Edo State, where I was the chairman, I reported that herdsmen burnt 154 acres of my rubber plantation, including cassava. Not up to three weeks, they started grazing the weeds that were coming up. Till date, the police have not done anything about it,” he said.

The cocoa farmer wondered why the Federal Government was not doing anything about the situation. He, however, called on governments at all levels to assist farmers with soft loans and inputs to boost agriculture in the country.

According to him, politicians should not be left to handle the sector, but genuine farmers and people with interest in agribusiness.

While soliciting the support of all and sundry to drive the nation’s agriculture development, Imasogie urged government to show interest in agriculture to reduce unemployment, as agronomy is the only solution to providing jobs for the teeming unemployed youths in the country.

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