The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Publicity, Senator Suraju Ajibola Basiru, has called on Nigerians to take more interest in agriculture in order to reduce the prices of foodstuffs in the country.
Basiru, who represents Osun Central Senatorial District of Osun State at the National Assembly, made the call in a statement in Ilorin on the sideline of the recent training of over 500 fish farmers from the senatorial district on new techniques to boost fish production.
The training was facilitated by the senator in conjunction with the federal government-owned National Bioresources Technology Agency, Ogbomoso, Oyo State.
The lawmaker had three weeks ago facilitated the training of some members of the senatorial district in cassava processing and packaging.
He said: “The development became imperative in view of the perceived attitude of Nigerians to farming activities.
“If all of us embark on farming activities, there would be more food production and this will force down the prices of food in the country.”
He noted that it would also assist the people of the country to have more food on their tables and thereby boosting food security.
According to him, “The training of some members of the senatorial district on fish farming techniques is meant to simplify the myths around the aquacultural business. It will also put them through rudiments of setting up fish farms, seeding, cropping, processing and packaging for optimum market value.
“The training is one of the best chances for anybody who wants to earn a fortune in the agricultural sector.
“Don’t see this as a jamboree or your share of the senatorial cake. No. It is a means of pulling us out of financial backwaters in which many are swimming.
“See yourselves as ambassadors in this programme and be ready to train others anytime the occasion arises. By so doing, you help me to expand the scope of the empowerment as more are still coming.”
He, therefore, implored all participants drawn from across the 10 local government areas of Osun Central senatorial district to reciprocate the time, labour and expenses incurred in putting the workshop together by making use of the knowledge acquired for their own personal benefits, the senatorial district and the state in general.
Also speaking at the event, the Director, National Bioresources Development Centre Ogbomoso, Dr Julius Oyedele, lauded Basiru for facilitating the workshop.
He said the workshop could not have come at a better time than now when Nigerians are diversifying their sources of finance as a result of the current economic realities occasioned by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
One of the resource persons at the event, Mr Basiru Amin, stressed that owners of fish farms should be managers and get involved in the day-to-day running of the farm, clarifying that a fish farmer must also be a good observer and record keeper.