Thursday, May 2, 2019 9:21 pm
A professor of Rural Sociology, Gbemiga Adewale, has advocated increased budgetary allocation to the agricultural sector toward reducing hunger in the country.
He made the suggestion on Thursday during the Inaugural Lecture Series 28 held at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) in Ogbomoso, Oyo State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Adewale is also the Provost, Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology (OYSCATECH), located in Igboora area of the state.
“To attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of reducing hunger and poverty, agricultural growth must be made a priority in the nation’s development agenda through increased budgetary allocation to the sector,’’ he said.
Adewale in his lecture titled: `Agricultural Development Programmes in Nigeria; Problems, Feasible Impacts and Opportunities: A Rural Sociological Perspective’ said funds must be made available for research and extension services.
According to him, it is glaring that we need agricultural development in the country and efforts have been made by the stakeholders.
This is germane to food security, improved standard of living and poverty alleviation, he said.
’’From my personal experience and the experiences of other scholars in the field of rural sociology, a lot needs to be done to bridge the gap of food deficit.
“This is toward making life better for the people, especially, in the rural areas known to be the food basket of the nation,” he said.
He said government had over the years formulated good agricultural policies and programmes meant to encourage food production, but were found inefficient and ineffective since their goals were not fully realised
Adewale appreciated the efforts of the past and present governments on agricultural development intervention as well as the feasible impacts, adding there was still need for improvement.
“Agricultural development increases agricultural production, improves productivity and income of rural population. It also attracts industries to rural areas,’’ he said.
The professor said that for sustainable development in the country, various intervention programmes needed to be economically feasible, adaptable and flexible to allow beneficiaries maximise the opportunities.
He recommended increased efforts in the monitoring and evaluation of agricultural programmes in order to ensure the impact assessment was adequately and regularly measured.
“Government must ensure provision and maintenance of rural infrastructure to encourage farmers. The use of bottom-top approaches should be encouraged in determining the needs of farmers.
“Farmers’ participation in intervention programmes should be enhanced. Succeeding governments at all levels should continue with the agricultural development programmes inherited from their predecessors,’’ he said.
Adewale called for collaborative efforts by government and non-governmental organisations in the interest of the farmers while also bringing a turnaround in the sector.
He added that agriculture which was the major occupation of the rural dwellers must be sustained; saying that the impacts of agriculture development must be measured by sociological indicators.
“The indicators will show the true wellbeing of the agricultural producers instead of the quantitative measures that may not indicate the actual improvement in the quality of agricultural producers’ lives,’’ he said.
NAN reports that the lecture was attended by Prof. Michael Ologunde, the institution’s Vice Chancellor, management staff, family members of the guest lecturer and members of the public.