Food Security: Don’t Give 500,000 Hectares To ‘Political Farmers’, Prof. Ikpeme Tells FG
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Food Security: Don’t Give 500,000 Hectares To ‘Political Farmers’, Prof. Ikpeme Tells FG

By Nosakhale Akhimien, Channels Television

Prof Christine Ikpeme has suggested that the process of distributing the 500,000 hectares of land mapped out for farmers by the Federal Government should be given to actual and not “political” farmers. 

The Professor of Food Science and Technology at the University of Calabar said this on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Friday.

“The land issue is a good step but then (regarding) the modalities of the farmers getting this land, there shouldn’t be any bottlenecks. The actual farmers should get it, not political farmers,” Ikpeme said.

President Bola Tinubu on Thursday declared a state of emergency on food security in Nigeria, noting that there were 500,000 hectares of mapped land that would be used to increase the availability of arable land for farming to immediately impact food output.

The professor stated that as far as livestock and grazing are concerned, the land development plan for farmers is the right step as it will address the affordability and accessibility of land.

“It all depends on how the farmers are going to get this land without undue stress, without undue bottlenecks for them to access these lands,” she said.

“Most times, the government means very well, but the implementation sometimes is wrong. We just wish and pray that actual farmers would get the land and the farming inputs that would be given.”

Ikpeme added that subsidized farming inputs should be given alongside the lands.

The Professor also stated that the ideal project structure that should be applicable in this regard is to address the increase in production.

According to her, the country can no longer continue to go around the “vicious cycle” of more production and more food waste.

She added that there must be money for seedlings for the farmers, noting that the rural sector has to be given money for farming inputs at a very subsidized rate.

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