As a way of tackling projected food scarcity in 2021, the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji and traditional worshippers in Nigeria have urged the Federal government and governors in the Southwest region of the country to urgently adopt irrigation farming.
This follows the recent outcry by farmers association from the Oke-Ogun area of Oyo State who said there would be scarcity of maize in 2021 because of what they called a failed weather forecast which they said made them cultivate maize but lost their investment to drought.
Oba Adetunji advised that for Nigeria to avert food shortage in the year, efforts should be directed towards mass irrigation farming to avoid the effects of bad weather on planting while farmers should also be protected from criminals that attacked and destroyed their farms.
The first class monarch made the call at the installation ceremony of Dr. Fayemi Fakayode as the Mogaji of Onibudo family at the Ibadan House, Oke Aremo, Yemetu, Ibadan over the weekend.
Oba Adetunji who was represented at the event by Chief Shina Olatunji Aresa, the Mogaji of Okiti Family in Ibadan, said every Nigerian should be agitated with the news of possible food crisis in the year 2021 as people are already experiencing economic challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said “We should see that the time has come for us to realise that the way we practice farming here in the South-West Nigeria cannot sustain us in food sufficiency.
“The year 2021 food shortage projection by some Nigerians is predicated on so many reasons ranging from bad weather, insecurity and largely poor funding from the government.
“We can avert hunger and food crisis if the federal government can come to the aid of farmers and provide security for farmers, situations where farmers were killed and maimed in their farmlands, situations where crops were destroyed by cattle will not attract young Nigerians to farming.
“We are also using this opportunity to call on our governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde to sign the Anti-grazing law of Oyo State to make the perpetrators of farm destruction and attacks on farmers have a rethink before committing such crime, this will also give assurance to those that are interested in farming.”
While also speaking at the event, the Secretary-General, International Council for Ifa Religion, Dr. Biodun Agboola said the time was ripe for the Southwestern states to collaborate in ensuring food sufficiency in the year 2021.