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Agric guarantees jobs, stability than oil, monarch tells FG

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Traditional ruler of Kado/Life Camp in Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Esu Danlami Audu, has urged the federal government to have a rethink over its policy on agriculture, saying that under normal circumstances; investment in agricultural sector could create more job opportunities as well as food security and stability than oil in the country.

Esu Audu, who spoke to journalists in his palace over the weekend, therefore advised the government to provide more loans, equipment and enabling environment for the farmers to unlock the great potential in the sector to feed the nation and grow its economy for the benefit of all.

These, he maintained, remains the best way for the government at all levels to successfully achieve adequate production for feed security, export, boost industrial growth and provide agricultural infrastructure, among others.

The village head explained that such incentives from the government would help the farmers and motivate undergraduate youths to venture into farming instead of looking for the white collar job that is not always available in the country.

According to him, “a lot could be achieved if agriculture is professionalised and small scale farmers assisted and commercialised so that they make more meaningful and decent earnings”.

He explained that investment in appropriate infrastructure would help address the increasing problems facing the sector while sustainable cities and economies could be created within agricultural hubs to reduce the migration to city centres.

Esu Audu further stressed that agricultural infrastructure would lead to the creation of industrial hubs and development of service sector with more supporting infrastructure around agricultural hubs, thus reducing unemployment and poverty in the country.

He lamented that agriculture which used to be the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy in early 60s, have been abandoned by the government since the discovery of petroleum products by successive governments in the country to detriment of all.

According to him, “since our various governments have allowed oil to take over agriculture in this country, it has been creating more harm to citizenry and the nation at large”.

On what he’s doing to encourage farming in his community, he said: “We are Gbagis and our major occupation is farming, we are farmers. What I do is that I don’t just create awareness on the importance of farming, but make farming my major occupation.

“My people here in Kado/Life Camp do a lot of farming and that is why we grow different kinds of grains for local consumption. Besides, we produce yams and other farm produce in large quantities that are enough to feed the nation as people from other parts of the country use to come to and buy them from us.

“This community has the land and capacity to grow several grains and other foodstuffs not just for local consumption, but also for export when given the proper incentives and enabling environment”.

The traditional ruler, however, advised young unemployed graduates not to waste their time searching for the white-collar jobs that are no longer lucrative, but venture into farming, assuring them that they would never regret it.

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