Nutrition Security: LCCI seeks government’s intervention in agriculture

*The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry requests the Nigerian Government to tackle issues of poor infrastructure, multiple taxation and charges, unfavourable loan interest rates and unrealistic collateral requirements, if the government’s diversification objective is to be achieved through agricultural interventions

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In relation to the strategic role of agriculture in revitalising the Nigerian economy and creating wealth, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has tasked the Federal Government to fashion out measures that would enable the country to achieve its diversification agenda through agricultural intervention programmes.

Mrs. Edobong Akpabio, new Chairperson, Agriculture and Agro-Allied Group of LCCI, gave the charge in an interview Saturday, May 22, 2021, in Lagos, reports the News Agency of Nigeria.

Akpabio expressed her optimism on the role of agriculture in reviving the Nigerian economy while creating wealth for the citizenry.

The LCCI chief also identified limitations, such as unfavourable loan interest rates, unrealistic collateral requirements, onerous application procedure for loans, insufficient loan size and maturity date as hindering the sector.

Akpabio stated “others are, poor infrastructure, multiple taxation and charges. These issues should be mitigated, if the diversification goal of the government is to be achieved through agricultural interventions.”

She also attributed the current hike in food prices and other commodities to the ripple effect of the increasing cost of funding, insecurity, and the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on planting, particularly during the lockdown in the country.

According to her, the COVID-19 lockdown began around the time planting was to commence, when many farmers were unable to access their farmlands.

“By the time it was lifted, a lot of ground has been lost and this has affected food supply, though we are only just seeing it now.

“Also, inflation is high and the moment there’s inflation, prices will go up, as the cost of funding has gone up, so the cost of providing the goods and services will also rise,” stated Mrs. Akpabio.

She explained that terrorists and herdsmen/farmers clashes have also affected food production with farm invasions and destruction.

“Farming is not like a factory, as it takes time. The solution is to galvanise the populace by teaching them how to farm.

“Everybody has a backyard or access to some land where basic vegetables and cash crops can be planted for consumption and sale.

“This galvanisation should be done neighbourhood by neighbourhood, community by community, to address the food crisis,” Akpabio said.

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