Why Nigeria must bridge infrastructural gaps to aid food production

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As Nigeria makes efforts to ensure that agriculture plays a key role in its quest for revenue diversification, stakeholders in the sector have charged the Federal Government to bridge the infrastructural gaps to aid agribusiness development in the country and ensure food security.

Indubitably, some of the greatest problems confronting rural farmers and communities in Nigeria are the absence of critical infrastructure such as motorable roads, storage facilities and irrigation facilities amongst others.

Farmers continue to suffer low levels of agricultural productivity due to infrastructural deficit across the country, which reduces their profit and impact on their capacity to increase productivity.

The provision of critical infrastructure is a pre-requisite for enabling Nigeria stimulate economic growth and to reach the targets for economic diversification and food security.

Obiora Madu, former chairman, export group, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), said that Nigeria does not have an effective agricultural infrastructures, stating that the country’s export drive can only be successful with adequate infrastructural facilities such as storage, good road networks amongst others. He added that the lack of these facilities has made cost of food production higher.

“The costs of logistics are also very high. It is cheaper to transport a commodity to Europe than to transport same commodity within the country,” Madu said.

After few days of heavy rainfalls most farming areas and markets become totally impassable and this has continued to impact negatively on the prices of food items across the country.

Samson Akwah, organising secretary-yam section, Mile 12 Market, in Lagos State said that the cost of transporting yam tubers using a Mercedes Benz truck (911) from the Middle Belt region to Lagos has increased from N350, 000 to N700, 000 due to the bad state of roads.

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