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Monday, 3 October 2016

Agric policy should emphasise food processing, says Ooni

Femi Makinde, Osogbo

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has asked the Federal Government to review its policies on agriculture in order to reverse agricultural produce waste and ensure food security in the country.

Oba Ogunwusi said this in a speech made available to our correspondent in Osogbo on Sunday by the Director of Public Affairs of the Ooni’s Palace, Mr. Moses Olafare.

The monarch said he, in collaboration with the Bank of Industry and Hephzibah Network, had scheduled a summit starting for October 6, where 150 young farmers would be trained in agro-processing.

The monarch stated that training farmers in how to process their produce would generate more money and ensure that crops, which were usually lost to lack of preservation, were abundantly available.

He noted that most farmers in the country stopped at the primary stage of food production, adding that this was why they lost opportunities of making more money from their produce.

The monarch said, “Processing of raw materials will most probably improve food security as well as the reputation of Nigeria’s agriculture.

“However, in order for this to happen, it is important to improve on the agricultural policy of the country. It is also vital to attract adequate budgeting, not only in form of donations, but also regular business investments.

“This can be done through a proper investment policy of government. Agro-processing also requires extensive training of farmers, especially the young ones. The productive use of technologies by the youths at the grassroots should be maximally encouraged as this will increase the speed and quality of the process.”

He stated that the summit would focus on cassava processing, maize processing, aquaculture and fish processing among others and also to train farmers in exportation and the procedure for NAFDAC registration.

The Head of Osun Bureau of the BoI, Mr. Emmanuel Ojowuro, said the bank would not only sponsor the summit but would also offer loans to  participants who had bankable agricultural ideas.

He explained that the partnership was not only to provide fund but to also support skill development among youths in agriculture.

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