The Benue State Governor, Dr Samuel Ortom has said the country is expected to face a major food crisis or food shortage if the attack on farmers by herdsmen in the country is not addressed.
Ortom said this at the 2nd National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, organised by the Nigeria Union of Agriculture and Allied Employees (NUAAE), Monday,in Abuja.
Represented by his Chief of Staff, Gabriel Nyitse, the governor said the spate of farmers/herders clashes, as well as general security concerns, need to be addressed to avert the impending food crisis in the country.
“Herders/farmers clashes is a huge challenge that is constantly bedevilling this country and her farmers. If this is not addressed, Nigeria in the next two years could be overrun by the challenges of insecurity.
“Half of the people in Niger, Nasarawa State and in the north-east have been surrounded by bandits. So where are we heading to? We are heading for serious food crises. And food crisis is a big challenge to any country in the world, Nigeria cannot afford to be in this position.
“As the federal government is doing its best in ensuring security in the country and for our farmers, a lot still has to be done, we need to secure our farms so that unions such as this will have cause to invest heavily in the agricultural sector,” he said.
On his part, the National President of NUAAE, Comrade Simon Anchaver, called for the revitalisation of the agricultural sector, saying it is an important sector of the economy.
He urged the government to fashion more ways to improve the sector through increased budgetary allocation, improved mechanisation and deliberate efforts to have more stakeholders involved.
“Nigeria is a large country of about 200 million people and 65 per cent are farmers. We must therefore strive towards the attainment of food security which will provide good nutrition, good health and viable Labour.
“Today, Nigeria is a net food importer, spending trillions of naira on basic food items, yet Nigeria has over 84 million hectares of available Land and perfect weather to grow crops all year round.
“The agric union wants to be more involved in the issues that affect the agric sector of the country,” he added.