Dogara: Until we have mechanised farming, any talk of progress in agriculture is cheap

Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives, says as long as Nigerians are not running mechanised farms, any talk of progress in the agricultural sector is cheap.

Dogara said this in an interview he granted to Daily Trust.

The speaker said there is no way the country could feed its increasing population if its farmers are using crude implements such as hoes and cutlasses.

He said going by the current practices, the prospects of food security in the country is “not looking good at all.”

“It is also true of Nigeria that as long as we are not running mechanized farms, any talk of progress in agriculture is mere cheap talk. When more than 99 percent of farmers still go to farms with small hoes, big hoes, etc, there is no way we can successfully feed our ever increasing population,” he said.

“Something has to be done and very urgently too as we are not near any breakthrough in agriculture, if the truth must be told. I have no doubt in my mind that if we don’t increase and continue to expand our capacity to grow enough food to feed our citizens, with the population explosion starring us in the face, we don’t need a seer to warn us of the coming implosion.

“With current practices, the prospects for our nation is not looking good at all.”

The speaker said his father inspired to go into farming.

“My dad told me farming is a noble profession, because without farmers we will have no food and without food we will all be in trouble. Although a successful business man in his days, he did not give up farming. In my formative years, my dad wasn’t into farming personally he only had a farm,” he said.

“Except on days when he could spare time, he cleverly ensued that I go to the farm almost every day by sending me there to go pay off workers their daily wages. Even as a university student, anytime I was home,  I must go to the farm to supervise what was been done and pay those that must be paid. My dad raised me as a farmer.”

“As at today, I am not deeply into agriculture, although I am a part owner of a farm. I started my foray into farming in the late 90s when I first established an orchard on the banks of river Tafawa Balewa which is still flourishing till date.

“Before I got into politics, I acquired the present farm land at Gidan Kura, Nasarawa state for the purpose of cultivating cassava  on a commercial scale.”