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A letter to the commissioner for Agriculture deploring the low level of food production
|A letter to the commissioner for Agriculture deploring the low level of food production by prosper: 11:10 am On May 8, 2018
Write a letter to the commissioner for Agriculture in your state deploring the low level of food production in the state and suggesting measures which the government should take to ensure that there is sufficient food for all.
LOW FOOD PRODUCTIVITY IN THE STATE AND SOLUTION
I write this letter with deep sense of commitment and responsibility, first, to commend your efforts for the job well done and secondly to highlight the various difficulties facing food production in the state and suggest some lasting solutions. There is no doubt in my mind that the state can in no distant time become the food basket of the nation if the land resources are well harnessed.
The state government seems to pay lip service to food production despite its teeming population that grows at a geometrical rate. Take for instance, there is no faculty of agriculture in both the state and federal universities located in Lagos State. Also, Agricultural Science is not taught in both the state college of education and polytechnic. I think this leaves much to be desire if food for all by the year 2000 AD is to be guaranteed. This has led to absence of specialists and extension workers to educate farmers in the state towards achieving massive food production.
Moreover, Lagos school leavers are discouraged from farming which in actual sense is more lucrative than any white collar job in the state. Perhaps, due to poor awareness, young men and women shy away from farming as it is viewed as a work meant for drop-outs. Consequently, even drop-outs. Consequently, even drop-outs, in order not to be stigmatized prefer learning trades such as welding, driving fashion-designing and a host of other professions instead of going into farming. This is an age-long wrong notion which is yet to be corrected among Lagosians. However, farmers in advanced countries are among the richest citizens.
Furthermore, lack of co-operative farming is equally responsible for low productivity of food in Lagos State. A good number of farmers operate at subsistence level which is a crude stage of agricultural development. Each farmer embarks on subsistence farming which is just sufficient for his family instead of pooling their resources together of raise large capital in order to go into commercial farming.
Also, farmers in the state are not aided to terms of loans and inputs. Those who eventually benefit from the so-called agricultural loans in the state are not farmers but businessmen who collect such loans and run back to other industries. Such ‘fake farmers’ present a long list of farmers, claiming to be their spokesman and collect several millions of naira before they bolt away to their original line of business. This attitude leaves much to be desired.
In view of the problems facing massive food production in the state, the government in association with the mass media in the state should embark on mass education of citizens as regards the need for massive food production and involvement of all and sundry in production of food. Similarly, each tertiary institution in the state should be compelled to open a faculty of agriculture. Practical agriculture should also be made compulsory in both secondary and post-secondary institutions in the state. Also, extension workers should be encouraged to live among the farmers in rural areas of the state to boost production.
The state government should increase its annual allocation to agriculture so that enough loans can be given to real farmers. More so, they should be encouraged to pool their resource together through co-operative societies to enable them buy modern machines to boost food production. Chemicals and other inputs should also be sold to farmers at subsidized rates.
All things being equal, there is no doubt in my mind that large food production will be achieved in the state if my suggestions are looked into and systematically implemented.
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