April 20, 2024 5:08 am





Expert Warns: Government Urged to Protect Food Security from ‘Political Farmers’ Amidst Land Distribution of 500,000 Hectares


Prof Christine Ikpeme Calls for Actual Farmers to Receive Land Mapped Out by Federal Government

In a recent interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Prof Christine Ikpeme, a renowned professor of Food Science and Technology at the University of Calabar, voiced her concerns about the process of distributing 500,000 hectares of land allocated for farmers by the Federal Government. She emphasized the importance of giving this land to actual farmers rather than “political” farmers.

  1. Addressing the Land Issue

“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.

With President Bola Tinubu recently declaring a state of emergency on food security in Nigeria, highlighting the existence of 500,000 hectares of mapped land that can be used to increase arable land for farming, Prof Ikpeme commended the government’s efforts in addressing the availability and accessibility of land for livestock and grazing.

  1. Ensuring Accessibility and Affordability

“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 explained. “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 stressed the importance of providing subsidised farming inputs alongside the allocated lands. She also highlighted the need for a project structure that focuses on increasing production to break the cycle of food waste.

“The country can no longer continue to go around the ‘vicious cycle’ of more production and more food waste,” she noted. “There must be money for seedlings for the farmers, and the rural sector has to be given money for farming inputs at a very subsidised rate.”

Overall, Prof Christine Ikpeme’s insights shed light on the distribution process of the land allocated for farmers by the Federal Government. Her expertise and recommendations emphasize the significance of supporting actual farmers and ensuring that they receive the necessary resources to boost agricultural production in Nigeria.

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