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Afe Babalola attributes hunger, poverty to neglect of agriculture

Afe Babalola attributes hunger, poverty to neglect of agriculture

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Afe Babalola attributes hunger, poverty to neglect of agriculture

By Matthew Eloyi

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and founder of Afe Babalola University, Aare Afe Babalola, has attributed hunger and poverty in Nigeria to the Government’s failure to support modern Agriculture, even as he lamented that little has been done to help youths see farming as a business.

He stated this at the grand finale of the 6th edition of the yearly Afe Babalola Agricultural Expo (ABAEX), held at Sports Pavilion, Afe Babalola University Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), on Saturday, where he donated N13.2 million to the best farmers in the state.

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He noted that insecurity in the country has forced many farmers to abandon their farms, warning that hunger could lead to a surge in social vices.

In his words, “I can say without any iota of doubt that farming has become more and more discouraged. No thanks to the spate of insecurity ranging from kidnapping, robbery, and invasion by herdsmen ravaging the country. Life is no longer safe at home, on the farm, on the road, or even in classrooms. The combination of these ills has led to many farms being destroyed with many farmers having to abandon their farms.

“Thank God that despite all these, Ekiti farmers have been able to forge ahead. I believe in farming because I grew up on the farm and I am still a farmer. This is the major reason why I included the study of agriculture in the curriculum of my university with a 50 per cent slash in tuition fee, with the provision of seed money for graduates of agriculture to start their businesses. Farming has been abandoned in Nigeria today and Nigeria is the worse for it.”

He noted that because of government’s inability to encourage modern farming, “no father wants to send his child to school only to graduate and return to the farm to use cutlasses and hoes. It was for this reason that in the past, when Local Governments (LGs), were indeed LG, they assembled farm equipment such as ploughs, harrows, ridgers, etc. in each LG for farmers to hire.” Today, no local government, not even the state government, has any of this equipment.”

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