Onyekachi Eze, Abuja
Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has called on the federal and state governments to establish a food security military taskforce to provide security for farmers across the country.
This, he said, is to avert looming food crisis arising from the inability of the farming community to access their farms due to rising insecurity.
The former vice president, who was reacting to warning by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, of a looming acute food crisis in Northern Nigeria, decried what he described as “laissez-faire approach” by the Federal Government on the issue.
Atiku noted that Northern Nigeria is the food basket of the country, arguing that any famine there will have a national impact on the rest of the country and cross border impacts in the West African sub-region.
“Food security is a vital part of national security, and where this issue is not resolved, the resultant crisis may unsettle the nation and her immediate neighbours,” he stated.
He blamed the looming food crisis on insecurity, regretting that farmers and other agricultural value chain workers could no longer go to their farms due to insecurity.
Atiku said the food security military taskforce should be made to work in farming clusters, to provide security for the nation’s farmers.
“We must give confidence to our agriculture workers, so that the sector can get on with the job of feeding the nation,” he advised.