Agric lecturer wants govt to regulate price of agricultural products


Dr Morufat Balogun, a Principal Lecturer at the Department of Crop Protection and Environmental Biology, University of Ibadan, has called on the Federal Government to regulate price of agricultural products.
Balogun, who made the call in an interview in Ibadan, said that this would boost agriculture and by extension the nation’s economy.
She said prices of agricultural products should be regulated like petroleum products to ensure that farmers did not sell at loss.
“For agriculture to develop and meet the target now that government talks about diversifying the economy, government should create Agriculture Price Regulation Board just as it is in oil.
“Farmers can produce and people will say I cannot buy for more or less than this or that, the farmer will not want to throw away what he has planted.
“This is why farmers get poorer and poorer, but if government says this is the minimum price of plantain per kilogramme, everybody will be bound by that.
“The economy can turnaround because farmers will be encouraged to produce more and government will
absorb and export,” she said.
Balogun also stressed the need to review the country’s export policy, saying this was part of challenges facing agriculture development in the country.
“Nigeria is the world largest producer of yam, but Ghana is the world largest exporter of yam because our export policy for yam is facing challenges, we take yam to Ghana and export.
“It is turning round Ghana’s GDP more than Nigeria’s; this is a policy issue,” Balogun said.
She said there was need for public private partnership for agricultural production and that efforts should be made to make farmers to have access to innovative technologies.
“There should be initiatives by the government to reach farmers with new technologies; non-governmental organisations should educate farmers, apart research institutes that are established for technology development,” she said.
Also, Dr Idris Badiru, a senior lecturer, Department of Agriculture Extension and Rural Development, University of Ibadan, stressed the need to export more agricultural products such as cassava and yam.
“The present government can go ahead with the cassava bread initiative because a lot has been invested on it.
“Farm settlement like Akofo and Ijaye in Ibadan are wasting, they need to be revived for youths interested in farming to be employed.
“There is also need for us to add value to our products, provide storage and preservation facilities for them,” he said. (NAN)

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