By Adelola Amihere
As the number of persons infected with the Corona virus continue to rise in Nigeria and globally , stakeholders in the nation’s agric sector have called for an immdiete strategic plan that will ensure the continuous supply of food stuff in other to avoid a looming food crisis.
This is just as they stated that the choices before the federal governemnt is to continue to allow the uncoordinated production and distribution of food stuff or take a cordinated action.
Failure to do any of these could “likely lead to food shortages for large portions of the population, extreme inflation of food prices and massive food waste,” they warned.
In a statement released by Agric Bureau, its representative Suleiman Dikwa cautioned that there is an urgent need to immediately identify key players in the food supply chain, track levels of food availability and manage supply and distribution adding that this will require better linkages between users and producers
Proposing a way out, he said, “First of all, there has to be farm camps where only people working on the farms are isolated. If you have people on the farm let them stay there .The logistics can be worked out with drop offs and pick ups .
” We don’t know where this will go, if you have any kind of space begin cultivation .if you live in the city , vertical agriculture or hydrophonics. We need to take data of resources withing our geographical area .
” If we shut down and the food chain stops ,It will kill more people than the virus .We need to organise ourselves online and allocate responsibilities . Leaders have to emerge and organise people to keep the supply chain working. ”
Continuing further, Dikwa pointed out that” While the popular thinking is their will be less resources available , contrary maybe the case.
“There will be less needs,less air travel so the billions are in the system and other resources draning activities called government offices will scale down the waste .
” We need to bring in all active players in the Agriculture and allied industry ,the pharmaceutical companies ,the logistic companies into and emegency mode and develop a strategy to keep our supply chain running .
We need to put business as usual aside and direct all resources to developing solutions .”
Agric Bureau is a group of indigenous Agro Business investors set up to address the contraints faced by investors in the agri business segment with particular interest in producing competitive products in quality and quantity through the engagement of critical stakeholders in the agro industry .