The Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji and traditional worshippers in Nigeria have urged the Federal Government and the southwest governors to urgently adopt irrigation farming to overcome projections of food shortage in the year 2021.
Farmers association from the Oke-Ogun region of Oyo State have recently announced that there would be a scarcity of maize in 2021, because of what they called a failed weather forecast which they said made them cultivate maize and lost their investment to drought. Oba Adetunji advised that for Nigeria to avert food shortage in 2021, effort should be directed towards mass irrigation farming to avoid the effects of bad weather on planting, while farmers should also be protected from criminals that attacked and destroy their farms.
The monarch said this at the installation of Dr Fayemi Fakayode as the Mogaji of Onibudo family at the Ibadan House, Oke Aremo, Yemetu, Ibadan. Oba Adetunji who was represented at the event by Chief Shina Olatunji Aresa, the Mogaji of Okiti Family in Ibadan, said every Nigerian should be agitated with the news of possible food crisis in the year 2020 as people were already experiencing economic challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said: “We should see that the time has come for us to realize that the way we practice farming here in the South-West Nigeria cannot sustain us in food sufficiency, the year 2020 food shortage projection by some Nigerians is predicated on so many reasons ranging from bad weather, insecurity and largely poor funding from the government.”
“We can avert hunger and food crisis if the federal government can come to the aid of farmers and provide security for farmers, situations, where farmers are killed and maimed in their farmlands, situations where crops are destroyed by cattle, will not attract young Nigerians to farming.”
“We are also using this opportunity to call on our governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde to sign the Anti-grazing law of Oyo State to make the perpetrators of farm destruction and attacks on farmers have a rethink before committing such crime, this will also give assurance to those that are interested in farming.”
The Secretary-General, International Council for Ifa Religion, Dr Biodun Agboola, said the time was ripe for the southwestern states to collaborate in ensuring food sufficiency in the year 2021. Agboola, who is a lecturer at the Faculty of Agriculture, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, said irrigation system only could put a lasting solution to the food crisis in Nigeria, giving an example of the full adoption of irrigation farming in Northern Nigeria.
“As a farmer myself, I have come to realise that the problem farmers encounter is lack of good facilities and infrastructures in the farm and for the citizens to escape hunger, we must produce more food, the southwest governors should collaborate and evolve solutions to this problem.”
“They should adopt mass irrigation farming as the permanent solution to the food crisis in our region, they are already doing that in the North, their governors gave support to farmers, the federal government is doing the same thing for them through the federal agencies, we should adopt same.”
“We have Ikere Gorge Dam at Iseyin, we have Erelu Water Works, Asejire and others which can be used to assist farming settlements along these areas to be free from poor weather and natural occurrences that affect farm cultivation.” In his own remarks, the new Mogaji Onibudo, who until his installation, was the secretary, Traditional Religion Worshippers Association of Nigeria, Oyo State branch, Dr Fayemi Fakayode thanked the Olubadan-in-council, led by the Olubadan of Ibadan, Oba Saliu Adetunji and the Onibudo family for appointing him as the Mogaji Onibudo of the Onibudo family, Oopo Yeosa, Oke Ayeye in Ibadan.
He said his appointment and installation as Mogaji was in tune with the development stride of the Olubadan in order to spread social growth to the nooks and crannies of Ibadan. Mogaji Onibudo was a member of Oyo State Inter-Religious/Ethnic Committee between 2014 and 2019and has contributed to the Ibadan socio-cultural development.
Also present at the event was the Asiwaju Balogun of Ibadan, Chief Emiola Onidewure, who was the Chairman of the occasion, Chief Odunade Ademola Aare-ago, Chief Mogaji Ariyori, Chairman, Ibadan Mogajis and the Araba Olusese of Ibadanland, Chief Araba Ifalere Odegbola.