World Food Day: Expert advocates increased funding in agric

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Prof. Veronica Obatolu, the Executive Director, Institute of Agricultural Research and Training Ibadan, has called for Federal Government’s increased investment in agriculture to create jobs for youths in the country.

The Executive Director made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Ibadan as Nigeria joins the world to celebrate the 2019 World Food Day. She said that the government’s increased funding of the sector would improve small scale farmers’ productivity and income through value chain development and encouragement of farmers’ cooperative groups.

Obatolu said that the closure of the border by the Federal Government gave room for consumers to seek alternatives in locally produced food items, thereby, improving farmers’ incomes. According to her, it will improve the livelihood of farmers which can subsequently result in job and wealth creation.

“For example, one of my friends told me that someone gave her Ofada rice about a year ago, she just kept it somewhere with the impression that it was not as good as the imported rice. “Fortunately, due to the recent ban, she was forced to try the Ofada rice and to her surprise, it has better taste and says even if the ban is lifted, she will never go back to the polished imported rice,’’ she said.

She, however, urged research scientists to look how to completely get rid of the stones, saying the effect of the ban would bring an increase in price and reduction in the purchase of imported food items.

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