By Uchenna Eletuo
Lagos – An Ogun based Rice Farmer, Mr Raheem Alao, on Tuesday appealed to the Federal Government to invest more in agribusiness infrastructure to enhance food security.
Alao, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos said that with good infrastructural investment to promote agribusiness, the country would be self sufficient in food production.
Alao is the Chief Executive Officer of Three Brother Rice Brand, a locally produced rice that is competing with other brands in the Nigerian market.
In his message to commemorate Nigeria’s 59th anniversary, he said “we should be independent in food production.”
“We have good arable land and good weather that can support massive agric production to feed our people without looking elsewhere for importation.
“Both the private sector and the government need to channel more resources in facilities that will encourage value addition in the agriculture sector.”
“The border closure came to us (rice farmers) as a surprise because the stock we had became inadequate for the high demands caused by the closure.
“The hardship as a result of the closure is going to be temporary as more people will go into rice cultivation to bridge the gap in demand.
“If more value addition is created in the value chain, more jobs will be created and the restive youths will be engaged and the society will become good again.
“Right now a grow my rice in Ogun but I take it to Jigawa for processing because of no functional mill around,” he said.
Alao said that if facilities were put in place to support the sector, the scarcity and high cost of the commodity being experienced would be a thing of the past.