Dr Abubakar Aliagan of University of llorin has urged the Federal Government to partner with the Middle East countries in efforts to spur large-scale agricultural production in the country.
Aliagan, a lecturer of lslamic Studies in the university, made the call in an interview with Newsmen, llorin.
He stressed that Nigeria could boost its agricultural production by entering into bilateral agreements with the Middle East countries on specific agricultural projects.
“For instance, the nation is blessed with vast arable lands and a favourable weather that can facilitate large-scale production of sugarcane, mangoes and other fruits that could be exported to the Middle East countries.
“Countries in the Middle East are in dire need of sugarcane, mangoes, banana and oranges, while others lack arable land for crop cultivation,’’ he said.
Aliagan said that the proposed agricultural policy would aid efforts to reduce the over-dependence of the Nigerian economy on oil resources, while creating employment opportunities and reducing poverty in the country.
The don noted that the nation tacitly abandoned agricultural activities after its oil-boom era in early 1970s.
He advised Nigerians, regardless of their occupations, to embrace agriculture so as to renew efforts to boost food production and reduce the high cost of food items.
Aliagan, however, appealed to the federal, state and local governments to provide fertiliser and modern farm implements for farmers at affordable prices in order to promote the country’s food security.