A Professor of Rural Sociology, Kolawole Adebayo, says Nigeria will benefit from the recent border closure if it evolved strategies to improve local production and become more competitive.
He said this at the maiden Biennal Conference of Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology (OYSCATECH) in Igboora.
Adebayo, the keynote speaker at the conference, is also the Team Leader, International and Rural Development at Livelihoods Support and Development Centre.
Adebayo said that the recent border closure was a short term solution to a long term problem, adding that such effort would only prevent neighbouring nations from flooding Nigeria market with agricultural products in a short term.
“Border closure is a short term solution to a long term problem. It means that in the short run our neighbours will not be able to flood our market with agricultural products.
“But it is not a long term solution because we can’t close the border forever. When you close the border, what are we doing locally so that by the time we open the border you become more competitive.
“And one of the ways to become more competitive is to reduce the cost of production locally. So, if the food we produce locally are cheaper than the food that are being smuggled in, people will naturally gravitate towards our own local food.
“But if the smuggled food is cheaper, it is a law of economics, people tend to buy something that makes economic sense to them,” he said.
Prof. Gbemiga Adewale, the former Rector of the institution and special guest, appreciated Gov. Seyi Makinde on the rehabilitation of the old farm settlements in the state to become farm estates.
“The advantages of the farm estates will solve a lot of problem that has to do with employment of the youth. It will also solve the problem of food security, food sufficiency and will be able to provide raw materials for agro allied industries.
“And on the part of the state, it will also assist to raise or increase GDP of the state as well as IGR for the state, so that they depend less on monthly federal allocation for smooth running of the administration,” he said.
The three-day event also featured exhibition of several agricultural products of the institution.