Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, lockdown, interstate travel ban and the dwindling economy posed by fall in oil prices, the agricultural crop and livestock industry continue to face increase loss of resources. It is important that the government make available workable plans to save the agricultural sector from these threats.
Saving the agricultural sector means reducing the risk of hunger during and post Covid-19 pandemic. This will ensure that food becomes available to all and the prices also remain stable post pandemic.
The increasing rate of egg glut is very alarming especially in the South west. Agricultural crop farmers had witnessed increase loss of perishable produce whilst, livestock farmers are loosing their stock of DOC (Day Old Chick) during interstate transit.
LIFA as an organizations had earlier created awareness on the need to increase egg use for industrial purposes other than the culinary use. We also enlightened the the nation on the need to process egg into egg powder and more recently, we created awareness to promote egg use in every of our indigenous recipe thereby making egg a felt need commodity just like salt.
Yes, oil prices are falling, we need to embrace agriculture more than ever before. Hunger may eventually cause more death than the pandemic if measures are not taken to curtail the losses.
For instance, livestock farmers or related value chains should be allowed to move agricultural produce or resources at will. These are the people that will ensure food prices are stable even after the pandemic. Government must assist them at all cost to ensure continuous production.
Excessive egg should be mopped up by the State government or Federal government. These egg can form part of the food palliatives distributed to vulnerable homes during this pandemic as eggs are super-food that play important role of boosting immunity especially during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Nigerian Security Agencies (Police, Military and other Para-forces) should be enlightened on the importance of agricultural resources especially during interstate transit of livestock. This is however not to limit them in the discharge their duty. Rather, they should be trained on guidelines for emergency and disasters mitigation for livestock trans-boundary movement.
LIFA calls on NEMA (The National Emergency Management Agency) to intervene and help mitigate these losses. To ensure food security of the nation, collaborative actions must be taken. We need to involve different tiers of the agricultural sector and ensure they play their individual role.
“Livestock agriculture must not fail. If we fail to address the issues of livestock agricultural activities in Nigeria, the result will be HUNGER”. LIFA advocates again.