By Akeem Abas
Some prominent Nigerian traditional rulers have advocated support for local food production in order to ensure food sufficiency and security in the country.
They made the call in their separate remarks at the first anniversary of Titan Farms on Tuesday in Ibadan.
The Titan Farms was established by Mr Gbenga Eyiolawi, the new Aare Kebimapalu of Ibadanland, in the year 2020.
Speaking, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife, called on traditional rulers in the country to support local food production towards ensuring food sufficiency and security.
Ogunwusi, who was represented by Oba Kemade Elugbaju, stressed that producing food locally is a sustainable project that would reduce poverty, create job opportunities and boost the nation’s economy.
“Some of our youths are so serious and we have to support them to thrive in their legitimate businesses. We have to give them all the support they need to succeed in their businesses,” he said.
Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, the Emir of Kano, charged the Federal Government and Nigerian youths to embrace local food production, saying such efforts will discourage food importation into the country.
Bayero said the effort will produce more job opportunities for the youths and more food for the entire citizens of the country.
“This programme is so important and that’s why all of us in the Northern part of the country came to Ibadan to collaborate with Eyiolawi, who has done a lot to ensure food security in the country.
“The youths should key into this laudable project. They need to take a cue from Gbenga, who is a youth. They should engage in local food production, through agribusiness.
“This will make our country a food independent nation. The process will put our nation on the food production list, and with that, there will be food all in abundance for us.
“Our government should look and make the area of local food production their priority like they have promised,” he said.
Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, the Etsu Nupe, stressed the importance of local food production, saying food security will help in reducing crime rate in the country.
“Traditional rulers should support Titan Farms and other youths that have interest in agriculture. Titan Farms has helped in reducing unemployment apart from providing food for the masses,” he said.
Oba Saliu Adetunji, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, also emphasised the need for food security in the country.
Adetunji, who spoke through his Personal Assistant, Mr. Adeola Oloko at the event, said his subjects have keyed into the project, which is why prominent people and families in Ibadan have been supporting agribusiness projects.
Eyiolawi in his remarks, said that the company’s products, among which is rice, had within a year, penetratrated over 800,000 homes across the south western part of the country.
“Majority of our regular repeat customers have helped this brand become stable. That is an average of 3.2 million happy people enjoying Titan Rice and other Titan products,” he said.
NAN reports that Eyiolawi, who provided boreholes for 10 communities in Ife, Osun State, and Ibadan, Oyo State, also awarded scholarships to 50 students.
Source: Nigerian Newspapers Online