RECENTLY, Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom declared Thursdays and Fridays in the months of June and July, 2021 as work-free days for civil servants in the state to enable them engage in farming activities.
HE followed this up a week later, by distributing improved seedlings to over 22,000 farmers in the state. These seedlings include high yielding maize, rice, watermelon, cassava etc.
THESE measures, no doubt, are aimed at boosting food production in the state.
HOWEVER, this can better be achieved if the level of insecurity in the state, caused mainly by herdsmen’s attacks on farmers, is checked.
THE governor acknowledged this fact when at the flag-off of distribution of seedlings, he called on the Federal Government to put an end to the invasion of farmlands by Fulani herdsmen in Benue.
HE noted that these attacks have reduced the level of food production in the state thereby causing hunger and untold hardship to Benue people.
THE high cost of food stuff in the state can therefore be attributed to this inadequate production of food by Benue farmers, many of whom have been displaced from their homes and are now in IDP camps or squatting with relations or friends in other places.
THE Voice therefore, calls on the Federal and State governments to step up their efforts to ensure the return of peace to ravaged areas and also assist the IDPs to return home and continue with their farming and other economic activities.
IT is only when these are achieved that the drive for enhanced food production in the state would be fruitful.