Scarcity of Staple Food Looms as Farmers Abandon Production for Rice Farming

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… stakeholder urges FG to give attention to other crop value chains.

From: AgroNature Admin

National Coordinator of the Zero Hunger Commodity Associations, Dr Tunde Arosanyin, has raised alarm over the possible scarcity of several major staple foods in the country.

Arosanyin, who raised the alerm during an interview in Abuja on Thursday, said this is because farmers in other crop value chains are moving over to rice value chain as a result of overwhelming Government attention to rice farmers.

This, he warned, could lead to scarcity of other staple food commodities such as beans, millet, cassava and maize in the country in the near future.

He called on the Federal Government to give adequate attention to other crop value chains as it has done in the rice subsector.

He stated the need for the successes recorded in the rice value chain to be replicated in other crops to guarantee sustainable food security in the country.

Arosanyin said: “ the low attention given to other value chains may lead to the scarcity of such produce in the coming years if the situation continues,

“rice farmers under the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN), have enjoyed a lot of support from government that had greatly enhanced local production of the commodity.

“No doubt, rice production has increased significantly and the country will soon be self-sufficient in its production.

“This is because government has channeled a lot of efforts and resources into developing the subsector, paying less attention to other crop value chains.

“We heard that the federal government recently approved N60 billion to support local production of rice, and to also crash the market price of the staple ahead of the festive season.

“This is a good one as consumers will benefit from this gesture.” he said.

It would be recalled that stakeholders raised the same concern at a national policy dialogue of the Rice Assured Advocacy Forum (RAAF) in Abuja recently.

But an official of the Federal Ministry Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs Fatimah Aliyu, said the government was also giving adequate attention to other value chains.

Aliyu, who is the Deputy Director of Rice Value Chain in the ministry, told the participants that government’s activities in rice production were louder because of the general interest in the commodity.

(NAN)

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