The Benue State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr James Anbua, has raised an alarm over the emerging threat to food security in the state.
Anbua who stated this at the maiden National Conference on Smallholder Farmers’ Skills Acquisition, organised by the Farmer Business School (FBS) in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital said that the food basket status of the state was being threatened as a result of the persistent crisis in the state.
“There is already a threat to food security in Benue State because of the crisis which has ravaged parts of our state. Most of the paddy rice and other crops were destroyed by herders and Benue State lost rice worth over N8 billion in the two local government areas affected by the crisis.
This year, we could have recorded a bumper harvest, especially in the areas of rice, soya bean and cassava cultivation but the herders completely destroyed many farms at the point of harvest. Even though we have the capacity and the manpower to maintain the food basket status but because of the challenge of the herders, we cannot actually actualize our dreams,’’ The Commissioner explained.
He said that the security challenges facing the state should be addressed decisively so as to enable the country to earn more revenue from its yam export initiative.
The Commissioner, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government and its law enforcement agencies to tackle the security challenges facing the state.
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari on March 26 inaugurated the National Food Security Council to boost the nation’s quest to attain food security and ensure efficiency in the agricultural sector of the economy.