Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, warned yesterday, that Nigerians were at the risk of starving to death by 2050 if nothing is done to ensure all-year-round farming.
Ogbeh, who made this disclosure, when he defended the 2016 budget proposal of his ministry before the joint Committee on Agriculture, said the present mode of farming in Nigeris is incapable of sustaining increasing population in the country.
He said there is an urgent need for all stakeholders in the agricultural sector to work towards improving mechanised farming and irrigation in order to ensure all-year-round farming that will avert the problem.
“We have written to state governments to encourage them to develop dams and canals so that agriculture becomes an all-year-round activity and it is not confined to the rainy season alone.
“Four or five months of farm activity cannot sustain the country for 12 months.Besides, by 2050 Nigeria’s population will be very close to 500 million, going by the current rate of growth.
“This is just 34 years from now. If we carry on at the current rate of one crop per year and very low mechanisation, Nigeria runs a risk of starving to death,’’ he said.
Ogbeh also said the current crisis between herdsmen and rural farmers is a major setback for the agricultural sector in the country. He maintained that as part of its effort to tackle the problem, the ministry would develop paddocks to grow grasses and also develop boreholes and dams for cattle rearing across the hinterlands.