Agric Expert To FG: Evolve Policies For Large-Scale Commercial Farming

President Buhari
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From Mfon Ekefre, Uyo
The federal government has been urged to evolve agricultural policies that would lay emphasis on large-scale commercial farming where food and crash crops would be exported for foreign exchange earnings.
Also, government should consider the establishment of agro-service centre across the states of the federation for the development of improved seedlings of variety of food and cash crops for distribution to occupational farmers.
An agricultural expert, Dr. Paul Albert, proffered the advice while fielding questions from The Daily Dream correspondent in the state.
Gilbert, who passed through Uyo to Lagos en-route to the US expressed dismay that agriculture has been relegated to the back ground which was once the only foreign exchange earner for the country before and after independence.
He also advocated that Commodity Board should be established to ensure the production, processing and distribution of improved seedlings to farmers.
“Even warehouses, and silos built by previous administrations for storage of farm produce were abandoned since the advent of oil as farmers were no longer encouraged, for massive food production”.
He appealed to the federal and states governments to create financial institution where agricultural graduates could access liberalized loans with low interest rates to invest in commercial farming, breeding of livestock, poultry and animal husbandry.
Prof. Gilbert observed that the country is blessed with good climate, good vegetation belt conducive for the planting and massive production of various food and cash crops for local consumption and for export.
“Most of our coastlines have fine industrial sand good enough for production of glass and our dependent on oil as the only source of income should be reviewed with other interest taken into consideration.
The expert further observed that most of our water corridors have been polluted by spills from crude oil exploration, thereby causing the fishes to leave for other fresh water areas.
He appealed to the multinational oil companies to always be proactive in clearing up oil spill immediately so as not to act as hindrance to fishermen and other marine users.
His words: “We must begin to lay more emphasis on export than import. There is little that is being exported and we cannot grow as a nation if we keep on importing.
“What we must do in refining our policies is to look at how we can export to get more money because anytime we import, we are growing somebody else’s industry at the expense of our own.”

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