The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has advised the three tiers of government to increase investment in agriculture to boost food production and sufficiency in the country.
Its Director-General, Mr Segun Kadiri, made the call in an interview in Lagos on Monday while reviewing the performance of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Kadiri said that government should embark on aggressive food production via mechanised farming to make more food available for human consumption and as raw materials for industrial use.
“It is important that people get food to eat; it is also important that industries get raw materials to use for production. Both are priorities.
“We, as a nation of more than 180 million people should plan big and operate big such that there would be no shortage anywhere.
“Nigeria is too big and blessed to complain about scarcity of food.
“We have about 36 states in the country and you can grow virtually anything. The onus lies with our leaders to ensure that we utilise our natural resources well,” he said.
Kadiri said that the rising cost of foods could not be blamed on manufacturers’ using some of these items as raw materials, stressing that local consumption and industrial uses were both important.
He urged the governments to initiate feasible food production programmes that would subsidise financing, inputs and machinery for farmers, while expanding access to foods by the citizens.
The MAN boss said that government and relevant stakeholders had complimentary roles to play for the country to attain sufficiency in food production.
He said that promoting food production would avert food crisis, reduce cost of food, boost industrial capacity utilisation, create employment and inclusive growth for citizens.