All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) and AgroNigeria/AgroAfrica on Tuesday said the current closure of Nigeria’s land borders is among the best decisions of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
They said this in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, at the opening ceremony of a-two day agricultural workshop, tagged: Farm2fork Dialogue, organised by AgroAfrica, Africa Development Bank (AfDB), Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) in collaboration with the Kwara State government.
The theme of the two day workshop is “eliminating the economic impediments to a prosperous commodity agribusiness.”
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) AgroNigeria/AgroAfrica Richard-Mark Mbaram said Nigeria has a mild state of emergency on its economy in the area of agribusiness.
Mbaram noted that the current closure of Nigeria’s land borders amounts to staring saboteurs in the face and drawing a line.
“But there is a need for more practical steps by the Buhari government,” he said, adding: “If we look at the Chinese example of border closure leading to their industrialisation, they turned on their people for reorientation. That is what they called cultural revolution.
“Nigeria needs to do the same by doing away with prodigal culture. We are still faced with a deficit of meeting the demands of agro realities. This meeting, therefore, is an engagement to proffer solutiond to agricultural deficits in our ecosystem.”
AFAN President Kabir Ibrahim noted that the border closure “is an encouragement for local farmers. We don’t need to call people from outside the country to teach us what to do on agriculture”.
Ibrahim, who was represented by his vice, Chief Daniel Okafor, added: “Today, people are into dry season farming because the price of rice is competitive in the market.”
The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to AfDB President on Industrialisation, Prof Oyebanji Oyeyinka, said: “There is always a time in every nation’s history to make a turning-point. We believe that Africa should not be importing food; we believe Africa should not also be exporting its raw materials. Rather, it should be processing them locally. As a result, Africa should not suffer malnutrition.”