Gov. Imoke
Gov. Imoke

Calabar –  Prof. Ekanem Braide, the Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State, has urged the Cross River Government to invest in agriculture to create employment and increase its revenue profile.
Braide made the call at the 16th Prof. Bassey Andah Memorial Lecture held in Calabar, which had the theme, “Agriculture and Food Security in Nigeria.’’
Andah, who died on December  22, 1997, was the former Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), University of Ibadan.
Braide said that the land mass of the state, which spanned various ecological zones from mangrove to savannah, should be exploited.
“With this land mass, the state can rely on diverse agriculture products for meaningful socio-economic growth, job creation, and revenue generation.
“It is reported that Nigerian farmers are now having the best of times following the Federal Government intervention in the agricultural sector.
“To ensure sustainability of this mood, there should be correspondent increase in number of youths, who are genuinely interested in studying and practising agriculture.
“This should manifest in an increase in engagement in agriculture from growing to processing, especially with the reality of weakening of the naira and falling oil prices,’’ she said.
According to her, agriculture prevents hunger, malnutrition, ill health and in extreme cases, death.
Also, Dr Godfrey Nzamujo, Founder of the Songhai Centre, Benin, urged the government to set up strong institutions to train young graduates in agricultural activities.
“Our modern industries, especially in the agricultural sector, are inefficient both in terms of output, input per unit and in absolute terms.
According to Nzamujo, agriculture should be given priority because it contributes greatly to the overall growth of the economy.