Lagos – The Federal Government should , within the next three years, return agricultural sector to when groundnut pyramids and other farm produce were at their peaks and the pride of the country.
The Chairman of BAMA Farms Ltd., Mr Wale Oyekoya, made the appeal on Tuesday an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
According to him, once the target is set; the various governments will work toward achieving it
”Nigeria can return to the good old days of groundnut pyramids in the North, cocoa in the West and palm oil in the East.
”The Federal Government can achieve this in collaboration with the state and local governments.
”The current fluctuations in the prices of petroleum products in the international market will continue for a while.
”The current depreciation of the naira to the dollar at the international market will also continue for a while.
”To change the scenario, the government needs to have diversify into agriculture from where it will be able to feed the populace.
“It will have surplus left for export from where it can earn foreign exchange for the country.
”This way agriculture will contribute optimally to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP),” he said.
Oyekoya said that the current 40 per cent that the agricultural sector was contributing to the GDP was below expectation.
He said that the government needed to encourage agro-allied industries to enable farmers or entrepreneurs add value to the economy through their farm produce.
The chairman said that the government should also address the challenges facing rural and urban farmers.
He said that the farmers should be supported with soft loans as they could not survive on loan with commercial banks’ rates.
Oyekoya said that a robust agricultural sector would change the economic landscape of the nation as it would provide employment for all categories of unemployed Nigerians. (NAN)