The Presidency has issued a note of warning to Nigerians that they stand a chance of starving to death by the year 2050 if the current current system of one crop per year is maintained.
Specifically, the Federal Government advocated mechanized farming and proper irrigation to ensure that farmers can farm all year round.
The presidency said failure to do this, and coupled with the projected population size of nearly 500 million by 2050, will lead to Nigerians starving to death.
This was disclosed by the Minister for Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, while defending the ministry’s budget before the National Assembly in Abuja on Thursday.
Also, he said the present system of nomadic cattle rearing was not sustainable, while asserting that the nation had what it required to grow the grass required to keep Fulani herdsmen from wandering all over the country.
He noted: “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.
“Besides, by 2050, Nigeria population will be very close to 500 million at 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, with very low mechanization, Nigerians run the risk of starving to death.
Adding that, “We intend to intensify and consolidate on the local staples, the yams, the cassava, the beans, especially rice and wheat. Both of which consume $11 million per day in import. The figure is going down a bit. We can’t afford that in the long run because we don’t even have the resources.
“The ministry has put necessary machinery in motion to stop the constant bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers. We have decided we are going to develop massive paddocks across the country.
“What the cows are looking for is grass and water. We have the capacity to grow the grass we want not just any kind of grass but highly nutritive grass for the cows to eat. If it can be done in Kenya, Saudi Arabia, there is no reason why we can’t do it here.
“There is sizable provision for grassing at hinterland, by developing water, drilling of boreholes and small dams to irrigate those areas already mapped out. In the process we hope that the cattle herdsmen would have a more stable life.”